(Photo : Foundation For Child Development)
The children of Hispanic immigrants in the United States live in greater poverty, are less likely to be in good health and have lower levels of enrollment in school compared to the children of Asian immigrants, or those of black or white families, according to a recent report by the Foundation for Child Development.
The report makes a detailed comparison of the quality of life of Hispanic children, as well as of children of whites, blacks and Asian parents who are immigrants in contrast with children whose parents were born in the United States. Hispanic children of immigrant parents have the worst indicators of poverty and income per household when compared to other groups with immigrant parents. They also are at greater risk of infant mortality and lower levels of family health insurance.
"They are worse off in a number of important indicators," Donald Hernandez, one of the report's authors said. "As for the economic reasons behind these issues, I believe the most important factor is the limited education of the parents compared with the other groups. There are also linguistic differences. Many white immigrants speak English."
The children of immigrants make up one in four children in the United States, the report said.
Seventy-one percent of Hispanic children with immigrant parents are poor or near poor in the U.S., compared with 55 percent of Hispanic children with US-born parents, says the study. The report considers living in near poverty when a family of three with two children earns an average of $36.243 per year by 2010 standards.
For the children of black and Asian immigrants poverty levels or near poverty are much lower: ranging between 29 percent and 34 percent.
As for health, 74 percent of children of Hispanic immigrants are in good or excellent health compared with 84 percent of the children of black or Asian immigrants, says the study, titled "Children diverse race, ethnicity and immigration in the new generation non-majority in America."
Education is another field in which Hispanic immigrants are left behind. In 2010, only 37 percent of Hispanic children with immigrant parents went to preschool, while the other groups ranged between 50 percent and 55 percent.
The report highlights "persistent disparities in child welfare based on race and ethnicity, language and immigration status." Congress is debating a possible reform the country's immigration laws that might give a path to naturalization than 11 million undocumented immigrants.