Reports: Immigration Policy is Hurting Young Children

Two reports from CLASP find that the Trump Administration’s anti-immigrant policies, actions, and rhetoric are hurting young children in immigrant families. This includes immediate and potentially long-term consequences for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Our Children’s Fear: Immigration Policy’s Effects on Young Children examines the effects of these threats to children in immigrant families. Immigration Policy’s Harmful Impacts on Early Care and Education describes how professionals who care for young children are coping with these same issues and provides guidance for how they can support these children and their families.

Based on field work with more than 150 early care and education professionals and parents in six states (California, Georgia, Illinois, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania), our reports offer the first-ever look at how the Trump Administration is wreaking havoc in the lives of young children under age eight. These children are crucial to the United States’ future: about one in four young children has at least one immigrant parent, and virtually all these children are U.S. citizens. 

The reports describe the pervasive effects on young children of the threats to their families and communities. We detail disturbing signs and behaviors of distress, as well as serious risks to young children’s healthy development.

Our Children’s Fear: Immigration Policy’s Effects on Young Children
CLASP conducted the first ever multi-state study of the effects of the current immigration climate on young children under age 8. In 2017, CLASP interviewed early care and education providers, community-based social service providers, and immigrant parents in six states. Our findings reveal a distressing picture of fear, stress, and unease that occupy the minds of millions of young children and their parents daily. This stress—and other documented hardships—puts children’s growth and development at great risk with the potential for impacts that last well into adulthood.
Click here to read a summary in English.
Click here to read the executive summary in Spanish.

Immigration Policy’s Harmful Impacts on Early Care and Education
This companion piece to Our Children’s Fear disccuses the effects on early care and education programs and the central role of early childhood professionals working with families during a grave and stressful time, often with limited resources, insufficient information on immigration-related issues, and under tremendous strain.

Press Release | English & Spanish
Featuring quotes from the report’s writers, this press release outlines our study findings.

This presentation from Wendy Cervantes, Hannah Matthews, and Rebecca Ulrich explains how immigration policy is affecting young children and their parents as well as early childhood educators. It also provides recommendations for stakeholders at all levels to safeguard the wellbeing of children in immigrant families.