There are millions of children in the United States who have undocumented family members. One study found that roughly 6.1 million children had undocumented family members, while 4.4 million had undocumented parents. This data comes from 2018, so the numbers could be even higher now.
The numbers above also referenced children who are citizens of the United States. For instance, perhaps two people illegally entered the United States, had a child, and were then deported. Since the child was born in the United States, that child has birthright citizenship – but their parents do not. This is just one of the reasons that deportation can have a major impact on children who get left behind with other family members or with no one at all.
What about children who get deported?
In some cases, parents will bring their children over when the kids are still very young. They won’t get birthright citizenship because they weren’t born in the United States.
What this means is that the children could theoretically be deported to a country that they don’t even remember. If their parents entered the United States 10 years ago, when the child was one or two years old, they’re going to feel like the United States is their home. They will have no connection to the country they actually came from, and they’ll have no memory of living there. Deporting them isn’t so much sending them home as it is sending them to a foreign country.
Considering your options when you’re worried about deportation
If you or a family member are worried about deportation, you can see how it has a major impact on your family. Make sure that you take the time to carefully look into all of your options so that you know exactly what steps to take to protect your future.