Psychology Benefits Society

Applying Psychological Science, Benefiting Society

Tag Archive for ‘undocumented youth’

Three Year Olds Defending Themselves in Immigration Court: Absurd Joke or Sad Reality?

By Jodi A. Quas, PhD (Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine) Recently , an amazing statement was made by a high-level federal immigration judge who not only oversees hundreds of immigration hearings each year, but is also responsible for training other immigration judges. The statement was made during a deposition hearing regarding a class action lawsuit, J.E.F.M. v. Holder. The lawsuit was filed in 2014 by immigration […]

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It’s Time to Rethink Our Detention Policies for Immigrant Families

By Melba J. T. Vasquez, PhD, ABPP (Past-President, American Psychological Association – 2011) When you think of the psychological harm that incarceration can cause, what is the first picture that comes to mind? Did you think about an 11-year-old boy who began to wet his bed after being held in a detention facility with his mom for 24 hours? Or a 16-year-old girl who says she will never be able […]

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Justice for All… Experiences of Undocumented Youth with Law Enforcement

This is part of our ongoing series of blog posts about race, racism and law enforcement in communities of color. By J. Manuel Casas, PhD (Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara) If I were to ask you in this post-Ferguson era which groups are affected by racial injustice in law enforcement, would undocumented immigrants be the first group that comes to mind? Many of us are familiar with the violence […]

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Growing Up in the Shadows: How Unauthorized Status Puts Immigrant Youth at Risk

Young undocumented woman

By Carola Suárez-Orozco, PhD (Professor of Human Development and Psychology at UCLA, Chair of the APA Presidential Task Force on Immigration) What are the implications of growing up in the shadows of our society? Over a million young people in United States live in limbo status, without formal documentation. Many were brought here as young children and spent most of their formative years in our neighborhoods, attending our schools, and […]

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Perception vs. Reality: How Psychology Debunks Myths about Immigrants in America

Myth or Fact

By Melba J. T. Vasquez, PhD, ABPP (2011 Past-President of the American Psychological Association) Stop me if you’ve heard these statements before. “Immigrants take away jobs from American citizens.” “Immigrants come over to live off our social services.” “They refuse to learn English.” Not only are these statements oftentimes false, they create unnecessary confusion about and antipathy towards immigrants. As the immigration reform debate rages on, data is essential. Science is […]

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Growing Up Undocumented

With over 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows, the field of psychology has vital input to offer. APA’s Presidential Task Force on Immigration report highlights the challenges to the health and wellbeing of undocumented immigrant youth posed by their documentation status and calls for APA to raise awareness of their mental and behavioral health effects. As Congress turns to the task of comprehensive immigration reform, the time is […]

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