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Published: Jul 26, 2011
Undocumented Status Blunts Future For Many
by Staff

The children of undocumented immigrants in the United States face the same narrow choices for employment as their parents, a study says.

Researchers at the University of Chicago say undocumented young adults, even those with a college education, tend to end up in the same kinds of jobs their parents held, working in construction, restaurants, cleaning and child care services, a university release reported Tuesday.

Roberto G. Gonzales, a professor at the university's School of Social Service Administration, interviewed150 undocumented young adults, mostly of Mexican origin, who had come to the United States before age 12.

"This is a population of young people who, because of their legal integration through the school system, learned to work hard and pursue the American dream," Gonzalez said.

"But as they reach adulthood, they are cut off from the means to live the lives for which school prepared them."

Most of those surveyed told Gonzales they first had to deal with their undocumented status when they sought part-time jobs, driver's licenses or admission to college, all of which require applicants either to have a Social Security number or to verify their immigration status.

Educators and policymakers have important roles to play in helping undocumented youth transition into adulthood, Gonzalez said.

"The problems facing undocumented children and young adults underscore the need for a more diverse approach to immigration policy," he said. (c) UPI

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