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Undocumented immigrant children need extra help

Mon, 31 Dec 2012 15:25:09 CST
By: Charlie Schlenker

An Illinois Wesleyan University Senior says she finds high school counselors don't have a lot of resources to help children of undocumented immigrants. So Sylvia Rusin has developed a guide. Rusin says often undocumented teens have fear and anxiety not ever knowing whether they will be able to get a job, which can turn into depression.. She says there are elaborate coping mechanisms that develop, such as learning to deceive.

She says a significant portion of undocumented immigrant teens don't find out about their status until they hit high school when it is a real blow. Rusin says counselors and school officials should start early and target freshmen before they let mental health issues affect them, create safe zones similar to those for LGBT youth to talk about issues, and involve the family in the importance of continuing to learn and achieve in the hopes of immigration policy change.

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