IZA DP No. 11145: The Changing Family Structure of American Children with Unauthorized Parents
Tougher immigration enforcement has been responsible for 1.8 million deportations between 2009 and 2013 alone, most of them involving fathers and heads of household. We exploit the geographic and temporal variation in intensified enforcement to gauge its impact on children's propensity to live without their parents in households headed by relatives or friends, or in households singly headed by their mothers with absentee spouses. Given the emotional, cognitive and long run socioeconomic costs of being raised without parents or in a single-headed household, gaining a better understanding of the collateral damage of heightened enforcement on the families to which these children belong is well warranted.