Patricia Gándara: Immigration Crackdowns Harming Children’s Academic Performance, Attendance, and Behavior

Survey by UCLA's Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles shows negative effect of immigration enforcement on schools across the United States.

Patricia Gándara, co-director of the UCLA Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA, is the lead author of a survey on “U.S. Immigration Enforcement Policy and Its Impact on Teaching and Learning in the Nation’s Schools.” The survey looked at 730 schools across the United States and revealed that 64 percent of teachers, administrators, and school staff said that immigration enforcement was having a negative effect on their schools. Ninety percent of administrators noticed behavioral or emotional problems among immigrant students, and 70 percent reported an academic decline; sixty-eight percent observed an increase in absenteeism. The survey also showed the negative impact upon native-born students as well.

“We’re talking about hard data, but going through thousands of comments from schools, across every part of the country, just broke my heart,” Professor Gándara said to EdSource. “Some kids are catatonic. Some kids won’t eat. Some kids have given up trying. The horror that’s raining down on these kids is stunning.”

To read the findings of the CRP survey, click here.

To read “Fear, absenteeism, falling grades among impacts of immigration crackdown, study finds,” in EdSource, click here.