Immigrants Raising Citizens

July 7th, 2011

The recent story about Jose Antiono Vargas should remind us that the story of illegal immigration is not just the story of those 12 to 13 million immigrants with the courage to come here, but also the story of their 4.5 million children whose lives are profoundly shaped, both good and bad, by events over which they have no control. Moreover these children will shape our culture and our polices for years to come. We are, in essence, denying a whole new generation of citizens the opportunity to be a part of the American dream. Often these fearful parents keep their children from programs and opportunities that would improve their development. Couple this with the recent failure of the Dream Act and you have 4.5 million young citizens arguably being denied their basic rights.

Hirokazu Yoshikawa, the incoming Academic Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education takes a look at this damaging oversight in his new work Immigrants Raising Citizens: Undocumented Parents and Their Young Children. My conversation with Hirokazu Yoshikawa: