Photo: U.S. Citizen Children of Undocumented Immigrants Face Educational Disadvantages
A professor at the University of California at Irvine has documented the persistent educational disadvantages of U.S. citizen children of undocumented immigrants from Mexico currently in the Los Angeles area of Southland, noting that they are less likely to graduate high school than peers with parents legally in the U.S., and on average, attend two years less of study.
Professor Frank Bean along with other researchers found that of all children born to immigrant parents who faced educational disadvantages, 80 percent of the children were born in the U.S.
The study found that citizen children of undocumented immigrants attend an average of just 11 years of school, compared to
The group’s report suggested that for the benefit of these students, additional measures should be taken to help their families gain legal status.
The report added that deported the entire family, including those born in the U.S., as some have suggested, is unrealistic.
“By not providing pathways to legalization, the United States not only risks creating an underclass, but also fails to develop a potentially valuable human resource.”
However, another group claims that Bean’s report does not justify legalization for the undocumented family members of these students.
The group, Latino Americans for Immigration Reform (LAIR), believes undocumented immigrants should be deported and told to enter the U.S. legally.
Lupe Moreno of LAIR told the LA Times that regardless of the parents’ and students’ status, “Amnesty is the wrong solution. I’m putting it on the schools — they need to do better educating these kids.”
Bean pointed out that for a country that relies so heavily on the labor of undocumented immigrants, it would be unwise for those in power to alienate and force out a major work force.