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Migrant Families & Young Children

Understanding & Working with Immigrant Families

Connie Hayek

on 24 February 2011

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Transcript of Migrant Families & Young Children

Demographics & Economic Impacts I. Definitions & Terminology

III. Health Outcomes for Migrant Families V. Effective Strategies for Working with Migrant Worker Children & Families

VI. Resources
Migrant Families & Young Children

Early Development Network

Migrant & Seasonal Farmworker Demographics

Dept. of Labor website
Resources including posters, fact sheets in English & Spanish
http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-msawpa.htm N


Centers For Disease Control & Prevention
Immigrant & Refugee Health
Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities (CDC)
Farmworker Health

HHS/ACF National Center on Cultural & Linguistic Responsiveness

Bridging Refugee Youth & Children's Services

U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement
Farmworkers’ dental health is that of a third world population
(League of Women Voters, Farmworkers in Oregon Report, Fall 2000) Nationality

There are 37 million Latinos in the US
21 million of these are of Mexican origin
(According to the California Policy Research Center, University of California, 2003 Latinos in the US)

93% of children under 6 with immigrant parents are US born citizens.
While most farmworkers were foreign-born, their children (73 percent) were mostly born in the United States."
Approximately 30% have at least one undocumented parent.

Nearly 2/3 of children have immigrant parents who were born in Latin America.
Most incidents of pesticide poisoning go unreported as they are mistaken for flu or because workers may fear losing their jobs if they report.

Read my Blog at http://interestsofchildren.wordpress.com/
Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/ckhayek
Connect with me on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/conniehayek
Join my Child Welfare Advocacy group on Linked In http://linkd.in/cnI4BD My Info:
Connie K. Hayek, LMSW II. Facts & Figures IV. Language Issues Terminology

Anchor Babies
A child born in the United States to illegal immigrants or other non-citizens. The term "anchor" refers to the fact that the child’s U.S. citizenship may provide a means for the rest of the family to stay in the United States or, more commonly, to return to the United States as immigrants after the child reaches adulthood (Also Known As Birthright Citizenship)

One of the six legal immigrant categories, employment-based immigrants are workers, professionals, or investors admitted to the U.S. as immigrants on the basis of their productive abilities or sponsorship by a prospective employer.

US Immigration & Customs Enforcement or ICE (formerly INS or Immigration & Naturalization Services) Terminology (2)


Legalized Aliens
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 provided amnesty to certain illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants who have resided in the United States continuously since January 1, 1982, who are not excludable, and who entered the U.S. either illegally or as a temporary visitor whose visa expired before January 1, 1982, are eligible for these benefits. They also must demonstrate at least a minimal knowledge of the English language and of U.S. history and government.

A person who moves within a country or who leaves his or her country of origin in order to seek permanent or semi-permanent residence in another country. Terminology (3)


An alien who seeks temporary entry to the United States for a specific purpose. He or she must have a permanent residence abroad (for some classifications, this is not necessary) and qualify for the nonimmigrant classification sought. The classifications include: foreign government officials, visitors for business and for pleasure, aliens in transit through the United States, treaty traders and investors, foreign students, international representatives, temporary workers and trainees, representatives of foreign information media, exchange visitors, fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens, intracompany transferees, religious workers, and some others.

Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) provides people in need with critical resources to assist them in becoming integrated members of American society. Terminology (4)


Person residing under Color of Law (PRUCOL)
When an alien is designated as PRUCOL, it means that they are illegal but can still stay. Because the illegal alien can stay they have the same rights as if they were legal. The real difference is that a PRUCOL cannot apply for U.S. citizenship.

Resident Alien
Any person who is not a United States citizen or national, but who is residing in the U.S. legally. Resident aliens are categorized into permanent residents, conditional residents, and returning residents.

Special Agricultural Workers (SAW):
Aliens who had been employed in perishable agricultural products for at least 90 days a year for the three years preceding 1986 were granted eligibility for temporary and then permanent resident status by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

Shuttle Migrants
Migrant workers who travel from a home base (either inside or outside of the US) to a specific destination for seasonal employment in agriculture. Terminology (5)

Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
The legislative basis for granting safe haven in the United States. The Immigration Act of 1990 allows the Attorney General to designate nationals of a particular country as eligible for TPS, if conditions in that country are found to be a danger to personal safety. TPS is granted for six to 18 months initially and may be extended, depending on the situation. Aliens in TPS status receive work permits and are immune from removal proceedings, regardless of whether they legally entered the country.

Temporary Worker
An alien admitted to the United States to work for a temporary period of time.

Trafficking is an umbrella term for activities involved when someone obtains or holds a person in compelled service. The United States’ Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) describes this compelled service using a number of different terms: involuntary servitude, slavery, debt bondage, and forced labor. Under the TVPA, individuals may be trafficking victims regardless of whether they once consented, participated in a crime as a direct result of being trafficked, were transported into the exploitative situation, or were simply born into a state of servitude.

(Recently events/blog: Nannies who are trafficked and exploited. http://thenannytimebomb.blogspot.com/2011/01/nannies-who-are-trafficked-and.html) I. Definitions & Terminology
II. Facts & Figures
III. Health Outcomes
IV. Language Issues
V. Effective Strategies
VI. Resources
Migrant and seasonal farm workers and mobile population groups suffer disproportionately from undiagnosed and/or unattended chronic medical conditions due to a lack of continuity of care resulting from a transient lifestyle. MiVIA™ is an electronic and therefore transportable, Personal Health Record (PHR). The ability to store and download critical health information such as diagnosis, medications, allergies, chronic conditions, treatment plans and test results will support continuity of care, enhance health outcomes and decrease duplication of services.


Hope Rural School
In the late 1970's a group of concerned residents wanted to provide an education for the children of migrant farm workers. Language deficiencies and cultural differences made school a daily anxiety for migrant children and isolated them from their peers. Its mission: to educate primarily, but not exclusively, children of migrant/immigrant farm worker parents. The school day was extended into the late afternoon to assist parents whose working days often lasted until the evening. Teachers focused on the basics of the curriculum with the specific emphasis on language development and assisted students with practical adjustments to the society and culture of the United States. The parents were encouraged to become active participants in the school and contribute their ideas, opinions and suggestions to the Board of Directors.
http://www.hoperuralschool.org Migrant Workers
Represent $580 billion in buying power-
(2002 US Census and Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia)

Latinos in the US
Undocumented workers generate goods and services worth more than $120 billion a year in the US
(2002 US Census and Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia, Latinos in the US)

Documented and Undocumented Mexican Immigrants pay $25 – 30 billion in taxes each year.
(California Policy Research Center, University of California, 2003)

Although Latinos clearly make substantial contributions to the US economy, this highly productive community has some of the worst health outcomes.

Despite high levels of employment, nearly 60% of Latinos live in families with incomes below 200% of the poverty level, compared to 23% of whites
(California Policy Research Center, University of California, 2003)
Migrant Workers in U.S.
In the United States, 70% of the agricultural-worker population does not have health insurance
(National Center for Farmworker Health. 1999 -www.ncfh.org)
1.2 Million Mexicans in the US have been diagnosed with diabetes
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among Latinos nationwide
(California Policy Research Center, University of California, 2003)
 Commonly reported health problems among Migrant Farmworkers and their children include: lower height and weight, respiratory disease, parasitic conditions, skin infection, chronic diarrhea, vitamin A deficiency, accidental injury, heat-related illness, and chemical poisoning
(Reducing Pesticide Exposure in Minority Families, OHSU)
The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) provides employment-related protections to migrant and seasonal agricultural workers and is administered and enforced by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor.

Every non-exempt farm labor contractor, agricultural employer, and agricultural association must:

•Disclose the terms and conditions of employment to each migrant worker in writing at the time of recruitment and to each seasonal worker when employment is offered, in writing if requested;
•Post information about worker protections at the worksite;
•Pay each worker the wages owed when due and provide each with an itemized statement of earnings and deductions;
•Ensure that housing, if provided, complies with substantive federal and state safety and health standards;
•Ensure that each vehicle, if transportation is provided, meets applicable federal and state safety standards and insurance requirements and that each driver be properly licensed;
•Comply with the terms of any working arrangement made with the workers; and
•Make and keep payroll records for each employee for three years. The Migrant & Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) 1983 Code Switching (Mixing) “the use of elements from two languages in the same utterance”

Dominance “the condition in which bilingual people have greater grammatical proficiency in, more vocabulary for, or greater fluency in one language, or simply use one language more often”

Dual Language Learners “includes both simultaneous bilinguals & second languages learners in preschool or above”

First Language “a language used by parents or overheard by the infant, both pre- and post-natally”

Second Language Learners/Sequential Bilingual Development “children who begin to learn an additional language after 3 years of age”
Does dual language learning cause delays? No

Respecting parental choice is the main factor in deciding what is best for the child. Articles

The Health & Well-Being of Young Children of Immigrants

Young Children of Immigrants

Children of Immigrants
Immigration Trends

Children of Immigrants Data Tool

Children of Immigrants in the U.S. Child Welfare System

Paying the Price: The Impact of Immigration Raids on America's Children

The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Child Welfare

Facing Our Future: Children in the Aftermath of Immigration Enforcement
http://www.urban.org/uploadedpdf/412020_FacingOurFuture_final.pdf Early Education Programs & Children of Immigrants

Raising Children in a New Country

Health & Well-Being of Young Children of Immigrants

Early Childhood Education Among Children of Immigrants

Which Way Home Documentary
http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/which-way-home Project H.E.L.P.
The Health Education Literacy Program (Project HELP) is a dual-language health education project designed to improve the “health literacy” of over 200 immigrant parents in Camden City and the health outcomes of their children.


Newcomer Centers
Summer school in NJ for Migrant workers’ children
(Interviews with students)


Best Practices in Supporting Migrant families (grant from Dept of Ed for laptops)
Courses are offered through NovaNET, an on-line education company that sells its services to school districts.

Migrant Workers in U.S.
In the United States, 70% of the agricultural-worker population does not have health insurance
(National Center for Farmworker Health. 1999 -www.ncfh.org) United Nations Definition

The term "migrant worker" refers to a person who is engaged or has been engaged in a remunerated activity in a State of which he or she is not a national.
Migrant Workers in U.S.

81% of all farmworkers in 1997 were foreign-born
77% of all farmworkers were Mexican-born
61% had incomes below the poverty level

Median income of individual farmworkers has remained less than 7,500 per year
(National Agricultural Workers Survey, U.S. Department of Labor, March 2000)

Five out of six Farmworkers spoke Spanish (84%)

Farmworkers had on average completed six years of education

Just one tenth of foreign born Farmworkers spoke or read English Fluently

(National Agricultural Workers Survey, Department of Labor 1997) Less than 5% of Mexican-born and other Latin-American born Farmworkers reported they could read and speak English well
52% of hired Farmworkers lacked work authorization (making them weary of seeking out state sponsored services)
Just 5% reported being covered by employer provided health insurance
(National Agricultural Workers Survey, Department of Labor 1997)
According to the General Accounting Office (1992) farm work is the most dangerous occupation in the US Infectious disease--Migrant workers are at increased risk of contracting a variety of viral, bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections.
They are approximately six times more likely to have tuberculosis than the general public.
Parasitic infection rates are as great as 59 times higher as in the general population. Migrant workers are also at increased risk for urinary tract infections partly as a result of a lack of toilets at the workplace and stringent working conditions that promote chronic urinary retention. Chemical and pesticide illness--Migrant workers suffer from the highest rates of toxic chemical injuries of any group of workers in the country. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 300,000 farm workers suffer acute pesticide poisoning each year.
Chemical and pesticide poisoning may result from direct spraying by workers, indirect sprays from wind drifts, bathing in or drinking contaminated water, or transfer residues from contaminated hands while eating, smoking or defecating. Dermatitis--Agricultural workers have a higher incidence of skin disorders than employees in any other industry. Reproductive health--Prolonged standing and bending, overexertion, poor nutrition and pesticide or chemical exposure increases spontaneous abortions, premature delivery, fetal malformation and growth retardation.

Exposure to pesticides during and after pregnancy can have long term effects on neurological development. The brain, skeletal, thyroid and immune system are potential targets of chemicals that cause endocrine damage. Childhood health--One study found that 34 percent of migrant children are infected with intestinal parasites, severe asthma, chronic diarrhea, vitamin A deficiency, chemical poisoning or continuous bouts of inner ear inflammation leading to hearing loss. Over all number of acute conditions suffered by migrant children is higher than in non-migrant children. Primary health providers rate their Mexican-American migrant children, compared to Mexican-American non-migrant children, as 2-3 times more often to be in poor or fair health Waldman, H. Barry, Dolores Cannella, and Steven P. Perlman. "Migrant farm workers and their children. " The Exceptional Parent. 40.11 (Nov 2010): 52(2).
"Due to lack of a national medical records transfer system and the mobility of (the children of) farm workers ... there probably (is) no other population in the United States that has had simultaneously high incidence of both over immunization and under immunization of children (due to uncertainty of medical histories)." Children working in agriculture in the U.S. represent only 8% of the population of working minors, yet account for 40% of work-related fatalities Migrant Clinicians Network

Center for Early Care & Education

Association of Farmworker Opportunities Program

Migrant Health
Health & Human Services (Health Conditions Database)

National Center for Farmworker Health, Inc.

American Humane: Migration & Child Welfare National Network
Bilingual Infant/Toddler Environments: Supporting Language & Learning in Our Youngest Students (Migrant HeadStart)


United Farmworkers estimates that approximately 800,000 children under the age of 18 work in agriculture in the US

100,000 Children are injured and 100 are killed in farm work yearly
(National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)

The life expectancy of Migrant Farmworkers is 49 years compared to the national average of 73
(Center for Disease Control, 1998)
Washington Association of Comunity & Migrant Health Centers
Provide non-health related services such as job skill training, language classes


Mobile Dental Centers (several states)


Keeping Children Safe and Families Together: A Guide for Immigrant Families to Understand child abuse and neglect laws and support services in New York (2008- 16 pages, available in Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Punjabi, Urbu, Vietnamese
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