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Children of Immigrants

Facts and Figures

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Document date: May 16, 2006
Released online: May 16, 2006

The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders.

Note: This report is available in its entirety in the Portable Document Format (PDF).

The text below is a portion of the complete document.


Congress is debating whether or not to legalize more than 11 million unauthorized immigrants, as well as stricter border and workplace enforcement. Mostly left out of this debate are the more than 5 million children living in unauthorized families, who, like their parents, would be greatly affected by the outcome of this debate.

Because of recent immigration trends, children with immigrant parents—whether legal or illegal—are the fastest growing segment of the nation's child population. The well-being of these children is influenced not only by the legal status of parents, but also by family income and structure; parental work patterns, educational attainment, and English proficiency; health insurance coverage; and access to work supports, such as tax credits, food assistance, and child care.

This fact sheet describes the population of U.S. children of immigrants—especially those with unauthorized parents—by drawing on facts and figures from the following reports, among others:

"The Health and Well-Being of Young Children of Immigrants," by Randy Capps, Michael Fix, Jason Ost, Jane Reardon-Anderson, and Jeffrey S. Passel (February 2005).

"The New Demography of America's Schools: Immigration and the No Child Left Behind Act," by Randy Capps, Michael Fix, Julie Murray, Jason Ost, Jeffrey S. Passel, and Shinta Herwantoro (September 2005).

Note: This report is available in its entirety in the Portable Document Format (PDF).



Topics/Tags: | Children and Youth | Families and Parenting | Immigrants


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