Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences

Zayas, Luis H., Kalina M. Brabeck, Laurie Cook Heffron, Joanna Dreby*, Esther J. Calzada, J. Rubén Parra-Cardona, Alan J. Dettlaff, Lauren Heidbrink, Krista M. Perreira, and Hirokazu Yoshikawa



Three groups of children from Mexico and Central America are vulnerable to effects of U.S. immigration policies: (1) foreign-born children who entered the United States with undocumented immigrant parents; (2) unaccompanied children who entered the United States alone; and (3) U.S.-born citizen-children of undocumented immigrant parents. Despite the recent demographic growth of these youth, scholarship on their strengths and challenges is under-theorized and isolated within specific disciplines. Hence, service providers, researchers, and policymakers have insufficient research to inform their efforts to support the children’s well-being. A group of scholars and service providers with expertise in immigrant children convened to establish consensus areas and identify gaps in knowledge of undocumented, unaccompanied, and citizen-children of undocumented immigrant parents. The primary goal was to establish a research agenda that increases interdisciplinary collaborations, informs clinical practice, and influences policies. This report summarizes key issues and recommendations that emerged from the meeting.

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* Denotes CSDA Associates, Affiliates, and Staff