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Document Type

Special Section 1

Theme

OTHER PIPELINES: THE SCHOOL TO DEPORTATION PIPELINE

Abstract

The current heated debate over immigration reform in the United States frequently overlooks the plight of the children of undocumented immigrants. According to many estimates, there are nearly 12,000,000 unauthorized immigrants in the United States (Gonzales, 2009), and of these, 1.8 million are children (Gonzales, 2007). As dramatic as these numbers are, they account for only a fraction of those affected by the negative climate surrounding immigration and increased deportations. Indeed, half of the 10.2 million undocumented adult immigrants living in the US have children, and 73% of children born to undocumented immigrants are US citizens by birth. An estimated 5.5 million children and adolescents are growing up in families of mixed immigration status (Suarez-Orozco, Yoshikawa, Teranishi & Suarez-Orozco, 2011). Although these young people are American by experience and identity, they live in the shadows of a broken immigration system, which views them or members of their families as “illegal” in the eyes of the law and the public.

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