Children of immigration constitute an extremely vulnerable population. Without access to education, healthcare, and social services, these children are likely to suffer prolonged childhood adversities, locking them into the lowest socio-economic class, even if legal immigration status is achieved.

In effort to address this reality, the conference Undocumented, Unaccompanied, and Citizen: Charting Research Directions for Children of Immigration will set a national research agenda in behavioral and social sciences focusing on undocumented children, unaccompanied alien children entering from Mexico and Central America, and the U.S.-born offspring of undocumented immigrants in mixed status families who are known as citizen-children. The conference will gather scholars from multiple disciplines to discuss current knowledge of the development, health, mental health, and psychological and social experiences of this population, and identify knowledge gaps, as well as methodological and ethical challenges in conducting research with these children and their families. The conference also aims to facilitate ongoing interactions and research collaborations among attendees, and will propose a research agenda informing future investigation into the developmental, psychological, and social wellbeing of undocumented children, unaccompanied alien children, and citizen children.

This conference will contribute significant progress in the journey toward providing quality care and support to children of immigration. It will advance knowledge informing the practices, services, and policies addressing the health and wellbeing of this population, and bolster the future welfare of our nation.

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by GRANT #: 1 R13 MD010415-01 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.