Skip to main content

Yoshikawa Pens Los Angeles Times Op-Ed

Children and Life Under the Radar

by Hiro Yoshikawa

President Obama spoke Tuesday about the economic reasons for providing a pathway to citizenship for the nation's undocumented. This is clearly a polarizing issue, and there is much room for honest disagreement. But there's one fact we can't ignore: Undocumented immigrants in the U.S. include the parents of 4.5 million children who are legal citizens. What that means is that, on average, one or two children in every elementary school classroom in the country is coping with huge uncertainty about future family stability.

As the president noted in his speech, border enforcement is now stronger; the number of people illegally entering the U.S. is declining. But these millions of citizen children are here and will remain. It is in the interest of all of us to ensure that these children grow up to become productive citizens.

I recently published a study that followed hundreds of young children in immigrant families in order to examine how parents' undocumented status affects their children's development. Our findings are sobering.... Read the full op-ed on


The latest research, perspectives, and highlights from the Harvard Graduate School of Education

Related Articles