On September 5, 2017 an executive order was made that effectively ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program six months from the date, and ordered that all new DACA requests be rejected immediately. DACA was a program that provided a path to citizenship for undocumented individuals who were brought to the United States as children, and had since graduated from high school. DACA allowed children to positively contribute to the U.S. economy and to our communities by attending college and universities; serving in the U.S. military; working and/or engaging in civic engagement. In return, they were able to live day-to-day without the fear of deportation, and were afforded the chance to dream and reach their goals as are other children in this country.
The Asian, Black, and Latino Caucuses of the Society of Research on Child Development, represent developmental scientists who have dedicated their careers to studying the healthy development of racially and ethnically diverse children and their families. Our science is based on the premise that children’s development is influenced by contextual factors such as those inherent in families, communities, and society. Developmental scientists consistently find that children who live in contexts of anti-immigrant sentiment, prejudice, and discrimination exhibit subsequent negative psychological and behavioral health outcomes. The scientific evidence is also clear that families who have undergone involuntary separation, face obstacles of family cohesion and connection – both of which are critical to the healthy development of children.
As the policy for DACA recipients and their families continues to be debated, it is imperative that policy makers inform themselves on the science on the lived impact of these policies. Members of the SRCD Tri-Caucus are ready and willing to provide input and inform on this important debate. They can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org (Asian Caucus); email@example.com (Black Caucus); firstname.lastname@example.org (Latino Caucus).