Excellent op-ed in today’s New York Times by Roberto Suro and Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, both long-time observers of the phenomenon of Latin American immigration into the U.S.
Effectively, they are asking the public and policymakers to humanize these immigrants, but the authors also point out the consequences of inaction. The evidence is clear. The effect on children is detrimental, and this has a direct consequence to the strength of our communities.
Some selections from the op-ed:
- More than 11 million unauthorized immigrants settled into our communities; many formed families and had children. Now at least one of every 15 children living in the United States has an unauthorized parent, and nearly all of those children are native-born United States citizens.
- In a recent report, we assessed more than 50 research studies of the children of unauthorized immigrants conducted by scholars in a variety of fields. This growing body of work shows that fear and uncertainty breed difficulties that manifest themselves in delayed cognitive development, lower educational performance and clinical levels of anxiety.
- In the universe of manufactured disadvantage, we cannot think of many instances in which sitting judges, with the stroke of a pen, can bring immediate and measurable relief to millions of children.
While many opponents of immigration reform will cry foul about these parents suborning US law, the fact is these families are here and are part of our communities. Their kids go to our schools, these families shop at our grocery stores, they seek solace at our spaces of worship. The authors are correct that Americans have long held the idea that children can not bear the burden of their father’s sins.
It’s time for policymakers to realize this sentiment.