Immigration and Child and Family Policy

Research Report

Immigration and Child and Family Policy

September 14, 2006

Abstract

The current great wave of immigration has led to a rapid rise in the share of U.S. children with immigrant parents, from 6 percent in 1970 to over 20 percent today. Three quarters of these children are Latino or Asian, and they are disproportionately low-income despite the high work effort of their parents. This report assesses how the changing demographics of the low-income child population are affecting child and family policies, drawing on findings from more than a dozen Assessing the New Federalism studies. Patterns and trends in child poverty, economic hardship, receipt of public benefits, health insurance coverage, and child care arrangements are discussed. The report includes recommendations for improving access to needed benefits and services for immigrants' children, and also discusses the implications of various immigration reform proposals pending in the U.S. Congress for their well being.

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