Psychosocial wellbeing and service needs of post-deportation U.S. citizen-children in Mexico  (2021)

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When undocumented immigrants are deported from the United States, they often take their U.S.-born children with them. This relocation has familial, social, educational, emotional, and physical consequences for U.S. citizen-children (USCC). USCC may go with their deported parents to a country like Mexico with its lower standard of living than the U.S., more limited educational opportunities, and substantially higher rates of violence in addition to other social-psychological challenges (e.g., language; peer groups; knowledge of local history, geography, and culture; new interpersonal rules of conduct and social-behavioral repertory) and other demands of living in a new environment.

There are an estimated 500,000 USCC in Mexico but we know very little about their circumstances. A bi-national research team from The University of Texas at Austin, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, and Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City are collaborating on a mixed-method study of 240 USCC in Mexico on five domains of well-being.

The aims of this project are to: 1.) develop procedures, test objective measures, and develop qualitative interviews that facilitate the collection of high quality data from USCC and parents residing in Mexico after deportation from the US. 2.) describe the well-being of USCC in Mexico along five domains essential to youth development Family, Neighborhood/Community, Education, Health/Mental Health, and Social Integration. 3.) identify the service needs and the extent to which the needs of USCC are being met in Mexico.

Funding for this project was made possible (in part) by GRANT #: 1R21HD098451-01 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. The views expressed in written project materials or publications do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the National Institutes of Health; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.