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Professor Dr. Hannah Dow
15 July 2019
Poverty Exposure to Immigrant Children in the United States: Economy in Disaster, Failure of
Government to Keep Housing Prices Affordable.
Prospectus: Affordable housing in America is a serious issues that continues to get worse
throughout the years. Due to this crisis, many found themselves apart of the sharpest economic
decline America has seen. America suffered from an economic depression from the late 2000s
early 2010s which resulted in 8.7 million jobs and four millions homes being lost, while the lives
of adult immigrants were effected during this time, people fail to acknowledge the lives of US
children and how they might have been exposed to poverty. This brings up to question about the
concerns one may have on the children of immigrant’s vulnerability during these periods of
crisis. The nation fails to protect the well-being of these children and just did what was best to
restore their economic downfall with government spending and tax cuts.
While there are countless number of events that have resulted in the decrease of the
economies stability, the event I will be focusing on is the Great Recession of 2007 and how it
affected the lives of immigrants and more specifically immigrant children. This event resulted in
the loss of jobs, businesses, and homes, these loses can have a huge social, economic, and
cultural effect on the lives of the children. Emotionally, studies have shown that children dealing
with poverty experience more behavioral issues and problems that go unacknowledged due to the
parents own problems they are experiencing. Economically, children face struggles with dealing
with poverty and a new sudden alter in the lifestyle they had been normally accustomed to.
Culturally, non-immigrant children experienced different effects during the great recession as
opposed to immigrant children. The problem of immigrant children being exposed to poverty due
to non-affordable housing in America is caused by the failure of the legislative branch not
creating proper laws which has esulted in many immigrant children dealing with homelessness.
Politically our legislative branch has failed in making proper laws that can protect
immigrants and their children. While there have been acts brought on to help this problem, such
as the Housing Act of 1949, it did not do justice to all the children who continue to be exposed to
poverty. There are government solutions, such as sending social workers, but to immigrant
children this is their biggest fear. Immigrant children move to America, a foreign country to
them, with their family in the hopes of achieving the American dream. Due to the economic
crisis America has with affordable housing, this dream may not be achieved, and a social worker
may vote to remove the child from the situation and tear them away from their family. The
legislative branch fails in attempts to restoring better laws to protect these children and prevent
further children to be put in the same situation. Socially, before any higher authority intervenes,
in the scenario where an immigrant family is evicted from their home, children witness the
hardships their parents grow through. This creates many setbacks to their mental well-being. At a
vulnerable state, they are prone to face many challenges in their journey to adulthood. Culturally,
having moved from a different country they have to face more hardships such as discrimination.
Many landlords strictly rent to tenants of their desired race. All these problems contribute to the
set backs immigrant children are exposed.
The Great Recession is very current to the economic stability of America. Several recent
articles published in 2019 all revolve around the same topic that Americas housing crisis is only
going to get worse if change isn’t made. Given that the Great Recession occurred in 2007, after
twelve years only progress has been made when looking at it from the point of view of the
government. By increasing the mortgage prices, only people who are financially stable buy or
rent property and they are not at risk of being evicted. In connection to our class book, Evicted,
many characters in the novel only depended on strictly on checks sent from the government to
provide for their children and barely make by.
The Great Recession has not been the only economic struggle that America has faced.
For instance, The Great Depression 1929-1941, The Banking Crisis 1929-1933, and the Stock
Market Crash of 1929.
Richwine, Jason. “How Immigration Affects Child Poverty Rates.” CIS.org, Center for
Immigration Studies, 6 Dec. 2017, https://cis.org/Richwine/How-Immigration-AffectsChild-Poverty-Rates.
Ducharme, Jamie. “Detaining Families May Also Cause Mental Health Issues.” Time, Time, 21
June 2018, https://time.com/5317762/psychological-effects-detaining-immigrantfamilies/.
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