The term “immigrant children” is a broad category that encompasses documented and undocumented children; accompanied (children that arrive with their caregivers) and unaccompanied children (children that arrive without their caregivers).
In the United States, 1 in 4 children (18 million) live in immigrant families. 4.1 million U.S. citizen children under 18 live with at least one undocumented parent.
NCYL is concerned with the rights and well-being of all vulnerable immigrant children. Currently, our work is focused on undocumented children in federal immigration custody and children whose parents have been detained or deported.
New Trump Administration policies issued in February 2017 delineate several changes that will have devastating consequences for immigrant children. More immigrant children will experience prolonged detention, be separated from their families, and be deported without due process. More children may end up in the child welfare system as a result of having their caregivers deported. Fewer undocumented children will have the benefit of legal counsel. Fewer children will have the legal designation of “unaccompanied,” eroding their already limited rights in the immigration process.