APA video shows the challenges of growing up undocumented
Forty million immigrants, 11 million undocumented
immigrants, five percent of the U.S. workforce — such
numbers dominate the national conversation on immigration
reform. But in the new APA video “Undocumented Americans”
three young adults offer a more personal view of what it is
like to be a teen in America without the ability to get a driver’s
license or a summer job.
been living here as a part of our society and they deserve to be
treated as people, as individuals.”
The video also addresses mental health consequences
associated with undocumented status, including fear of
deportation, trauma related to detainment and feelings of
isolation, depression and anxiety. Many undocumented youth
also struggle to develop a sense of identity and belonging since
they are caught between two generations and two cultures, says
Task Force Chair Carola Suárez-Orozco, PhD.
In addition to raising public awareness, the video aims
to inspire psychologists to offer therapy to undocumented
immigrants and study the challenges faced by this population, says Efua Andoh, of APA’s Public Interest Directorate.
“There’s a great contribution that psychologists can make,”
To watch “Undocumented Americans,” and
find out how to get involved with immigration
research, go to www.apa.org/topics/immigration.