With the recent escalation in interior immigration enforcement across the United States, immigrant and U.S.-born children are increasingly exposed to coercive measures that have been shown to disrupt their development. This study examines the relationship between immigration-related arrests and the educational outcomes of Hispanics—a group that is overwhelmingly targeted by immigration authorities. Using data on the number of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests at the Metropolitan Statistical Area level, we estimate the impact of immigration enforcement on Hispanics’ school enrollment. We find that increases in the arrest rate are accompanied by substantial declines in enrollment among Hispanic youth, including U.S.-born, foreign-born, and individuals in mixed-status families. Additionally, we do not find evidence of this relationship among other racial/ethnic groups, suggesting that the impact is concentrated among Hispanic individuals. Our results advance our understanding of the unintended consequences of immigration enforcement on educational outcomes and show that ethnicity is a crucial factor in this process.
- educational outcomes
- immigration enforcement
- school enrollment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)