Children of Immigrant Families Lack Proper Health Care, Education

Stephanie Hanes, Christian Science Monitor, June 14, 2012

Lest you think the days of the United States being a melting pot are over, check out this statistic from the Foundation For Child Development: Of all children in the US, one in four are growing up in an immigrant family.

That means that 18.4 million kids have at least one parent who was born out of the country. And that, the Foundation for Child Development says in a report released this week, comes along with some troubling statistical findings on these children’s health care, financial security and education, as compared to children of US-born parents.

Although their parents are just as likely to have a job as US.-born parents, according to the report, 30 percent of children in immigrant families live below the federal poverty line. (Nineteen percent of children with US-born parents have a similar financial situation.) A quarter of children in immigrant families do not graduate from high school, compared with 18 percent of children with US-born parents, and only 7 percent of children who are dual language learners become proficient at reading English by the end of third grade.

Meanwhile, children in immigrant families (nine out of ten of whom are American citizens) are twice as likely not to be covered by health insurance than children of US.-born parents.

“Somewhere along the line, the system is failing them,” Ruby Takanishi, president of the Foundation for Child Development, said in a statement.

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