Documentation Status and Child Development in the U.S. and Europe
Unauthorized status pertains to immigrants in countries around the world who do not have full inclusion and status as citizens. This chapter focuses on two examples—the Roma in Europe and the undocumented in the U.S.—that reflect groups at risk due to formal social exclusion. The United States and the European Union each face their own policy debates regarding unauthorized immigrants and its effects on child development. In each case, we briefly summarize the history of those with the status, including trends over recent years; evidence on whether lacking citizenship as represented in documentation affects child development; the mechanisms through which the status may affect access to contexts associated with positive child development; and then programs and policies that may affect the status itself, or access to developmental contexts linked to the status. Finally, we synthesize the emerging commonalities and distinct patterns across the U.S. and Europe from the relevant evidence, and future directions for theory and research.