Illegal Immigrants' Children Suffer, Study Finds
By KIRK SEMPLE
Published: May 21, 2011
... Indeed, a recently published study of the early development of children born to illegal immigrants in New York City suggests that most stories that begin like Eulogia's do not end as well.
Even though the children have citizenship and live in an immigrant-friendly city that offers them a wide array of services, many are still hobbled by serious developmental and educational deficits resulting from their parents' lives in the shadows, according to the study, whose author says it is the most comprehensive look to date at the effects of parents' immigration status on young children.
"The undocumented are viewed in current policy debates as lawbreakers, laborers or victims - seldom as parents raising citizen children," wrote the author, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, a Harvard education professor who has published the study as a book, "Immigrants Raising Citizens" (Russell Sage Foundation, 2011).
Professor Yoshikawa found that by the time the children of illegal immigrants reached age 2, they showed significantly lower levels of language and cognitive development than the children of legal immigrants and native-born parents.
Since age 2 is the first point when you can test language and it's near the lower boundary of when you can test cognitive development in general, I'd say: that's bad, really bad. Translated into Occam-speak, what the NYT is reporting is: At the earliest point at which we can test, illegal immigrants' children are less intelligent on average.
"Millions of the youngest citizens in the United States, simply by virtue of being born to a parent with a particular legal status, have less access to the learning opportunities that are the building blocks of adult productivity," he wrote. ...
Let's reread the crucial clause: "simply by virtue of being born to a parent with a particular legal status." Uh, no.
Poor cognitive development can lead to lower school performance, which in turn can lead to higher dropout rates, an undertrained work force and lower economic productivity.