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Growing Up Undocumented

Undocumented Americans

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 right for the new APA video, Undocumented Americans, which asks the question “What is it like to grow up as an undocumented youth in America?

Three undocumented youth – Jong-Min, Pedro, and Silvia – who arrived as young children share their individual struggles to achieve a piece of the American dream. Their experiences are emblematic of the struggles of millions of undocumented children and youth in America who deal daily with isolation from peers, the struggle to pursue an education, fears of detention and deportation and the trauma of separation from family and loved ones. This video calls for valuing the contributions of and caring for all members of our society, even those without documentation.

For more information on immigrant mental health, check out APA’s Immigration page and the Psychology of Immigration 101 resource.

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