Working with Immigrant Children of “Undocumented” and “Mixed” Families

Xue Lan Rong, Liv Thorstensson Dávila, Jeremy Hilburn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Immigrant children constitute a large and growing segment of preK-5 children in the United States. An increasing number of young children are also living with undocumented parents or in families of mixed status, i.e., one or both parents, as well as one or more siblings, are undocumented. Despite this population growth, researchers and educational practitioners know little about these children or their vulnerabilities, such as family poverty, marginalized social and legal status, and serious societal and institutional barriers that cause academic, social/legal, psychological, and emotional difficulties. To help educators develop more awareness and understanding of the challenges this young population faces, and help them work effectively with immigrant children, this chapter examines practice and policy issues and explores three areas of concern: (1) health, social, and legal services; (2) support for linguistic transition and acculturation; (3) community outreach and children’s advocacy. In summary, schools should ensure that migrant students are provided services that are comparable to those offered to other students in the school district, and that every immigrant child is involved in the regular classroom/school programs offered to other students.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPromoting Social Justice for Young Children
EditorsBeatrice S. Fennimore, A. Lin Goodwin
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-007-0570-8
ISBN (Print)978-94-007-0569-2
StatePublished - Apr 5 2011
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameEducating the Young Child


  • immigrant family
  • school personnel
  • limited English proficiency
  • immigrant child
  • immigrant student


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