As we help one person better his or her life, we are giving his or her children and grandchildren a better future.
Impact on U.S. Children
We recognize that children are the future of our societies. They will become our future businessmen, politicians, doctors, and workers who will lead our communities and care for our needs when we no longer can. That is why it's important to us that children everywhere are raised in an environment that will foster their potential so that they will be ready to lead us in the future. Unfortunately, many U.S. citizen children from immigrant families live in less than ideal conditions that prevent them from achieving their potential. Immigrant Legal Services seeks to help these children achieve their potential by helping their parents gain authorized access to work.
Millions of U.S. citizen children who have an immigrant parent are currently disadvantaged. A report released by the Migration Policy Institute estimates that 4.1 million U.S. citizen children under the age of 18 currently live with at least one parent who does not have documented status. The vast majority of these children live in homes with parents who struggle to provide for basic human needs. Under such conditions, these children are at a greater risk for poor health outcomes, developmental delays, and low school achievement. Children of an undocumented parent are less likely to be enrolled in preschool, which has a lasting effect on their long-term school success. They are more likely to repeat grades and fail to graduate from high school, leaving them to experience poverty later on in life and repeat the cycle with their own children.
Immigrant Legal Services seeks to help these U.S. citizen children overcome the disadvantages they face by assisting their parents in gaining the legal status and authorization to work. With the status and authorization to work, immigrant parents will be able to obtain stable employment and earn a steady income that will allow them to provide for their families' basic human needs. Having a steady income will also give immigrant parents access to resources that will help their children succeed in school and achieve their potential in life. Helping the immigrant parents of U.S. citizens benefits their family and the generations that follow. We endeavor to improve the future of our society by helping the immigrant parents of U.S. citizen children.
1 out of 3 women and 1 out of 4 men will be the victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives, immigrants are no exception. However, immigrants face greater challenges in trying to escape such abuse due to their immigration status. Immigrants feel trapped in abusive relationships and are afraid to seek help from law enforcement. The abuser often holds the immigrant's undocumented status over their head, threatening to have them deported or to take away their U.S. citizen children. Furthermore, immigrants face social and linguistic isolation due to cultural and language barriers that keep them from seeking assistance. They frequently remain in abusive relationships because they are financially dependent on the abuser, unable to find employment due to their lack of legal status.
Immigrant Legal Services helps victims find peace and safety from their perpetrators. We help victims gain permanent legal status and work authorization, freeing them from their abusers. If you or someone you know is an immigrant suffering abuse, please contact us.