Growing up without status: the integration of children in mixed-status families

Erin Hamilton, Caitlin Patler, Jo Mhairi Hale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past three decades, a central new challenge confronting millions of children of immigrants has emerged: growing up in a mixed-status family in which at least one member lacks legal authorization to live and work in the United States. A body of recent research argues that unauthorized immigrant status is the fundamental determinant of integration for unauthorized immigrants, with inter-generational consequences for their U.S.-born children. We discuss the immigration and other policies that create the particular social context within which unauthorized immigration status becomes so detrimental for integration. Specifically, we focus on federal and state policies that undermine the very factors thought to protect children and support the integration of new generations of Americans: families and social networks, economic resources and opportunities, and health. We conclude with recommendations for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12695
JournalSociology Compass
Issue number6
Early online date23 Apr 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Apr 2019


  • Children
  • Immigrants
  • Integration
  • Unauthorized immigrants
  • Legal status
  • Family
  • Education
  • Health


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