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Educator: Immigration Action Will Benefit NM Kids

PHOTO: Children will be the big winners in President Barack Obama's executive action delaying the deportation of parents who are unauthorized immigrants, says the NEA of New Mexico. Photo courtesy of the White House.
PHOTO: Children will be the big winners in President Barack Obama's executive action delaying the deportation of parents who are unauthorized immigrants, says the NEA of New Mexico. Photo courtesy of the White House.
November 24, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The overall well being of thousands of American children in New Mexico, born to parents who are undocumented immigrants, should benefit from President Barack Obama's action on immigration, according to Charles Bowyer, executive director of the National Education Association of New Mexico.

Bowyer says there are plenty of examples in New Mexico of children being devastated when their parents are deported.

"Some of my members in the southeast part of the state actually taking in these children for a while, to help them overcome the gap between being a part of an intact family and what's coming next for them," he relates.

Obama outlined a plan to delay deportation for several million unauthorized immigrants whose children are U.S. citizens.

The Pew Research Center estimates about 70,000 people in New Mexico are undocumented.

New Mexico already struggles in terms of child well being – ranking 49th in the nation in the Kids Count rankings by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The rankings take into account families' economic stability, the health and education of the children and other community factors.

Bowyer says children tend to perform better in school and be healthier when their families are stable.

"And we know that when children don't have that sense of stability and security at home – don't have someone to tell them to eat breakfast and do their homework – that their ability to perform in school is greatly affected," he says.

Bowyer says research shows students whose parents are deported, or removed from the home for any other reason, also are less likely to graduate from high school.


Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NM