Undocumented immigrant youth recount their challenges in new APA video

Three individuals who grew up as undocumented immigrants in the United States tell their personal stories in this documentary video that reinforces the need for attention to the mental health needs of immigrants.

In APA’s “Undocumented Americans,” three youths – Jong-Min, Pedro and Silvia – share their experiences as undocumented immigrants in the United States. Brought to this country at an early age by their parents, these children grew up to be American in every way, but they continue to face significant challenges due to their documentation status. APA Presidential Task Force on Immigration Chair Carola Suárez-Orozco, PhD, appears in the video to explain many of the psychological ramifications of undocumented status, such as isolation from American peers, stress in pursuing and financing higher education, fears of detention and deportation as well as the trauma of separation from family and loved ones.

The field of psychology can play a key role in the current national debate over immigration reform. The mental health needs of the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States are often overlooked and APA continues to advocate for immigration-related policies. APA’s 2012 report on the immigrant experience presents important implications for psychological research, practice, education and public policy.