Dr. Lisseth Rojas-Flores to Present on Effects of Immigration Enforcement on Children

Rojas-Flores will present paper at 19th Annual Latino Conference held in Los Angeles

Dr. Lisseth Rojas-Flores

How does immigration enforcement affect children? Of the more than 16 million Latino children in the United States, a majority are U.S.-born sons or daughters of a foreign-born parent. Many of these parents are unauthorized immigrants who are at chronic risk of being arrested, detained, and deported given recent heightened immigration enforcement initiatives in the country. Some of the consequences of parental detention and deportation include forced parent-child separation, loss of parental income and family disruption, which pose unique mental health challenges for children.

Fuller's Dr. Lisseth Rojas-Flores, assistant professor of marital and family therapy, and School of Psychology doctoral student Marisol de Jesus-Perez, will present The Impact of Parental Detention and Deportation on Latino Citizen Children's Psychological Well-being: Three Case Studies at the Latino Behavioral Health Institute's 19th Annual Latino Conference held in Los Angeles on Thursday, September 12. This presentation will describe the experiences of children and families affected by parental detention and deportation, and will focus on the unintended consequences of immigration enforcement on Latino citizen children using examples from a pilot study.

Dr. Rojas-Flores is the principal investigator of the Latino Families in USA research project which is funded by the Foundation for Child Development, a national philanthropy in New York City dedicated to promoting the well-being of young children in immigrant families. Little research has been done to systematically document the psychological distress and academic challenges that children experience when their parents are detained or deported. The Latino Families Project seeks to examine how immigration enforcement activities affect the well-being of immigrant families and citizen children. The goals of the study are to identify practical responses for immigration policymakers and to inform the development and practice of effective family and child mental health interventions for young Americans.

If you know a parent or child who would like to participate in the Latino Families in the USA Project or you would like more information, please contact Claire Okeke at 626-584-5615 or by email at familiaslatinas2011@gmail.com.

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