The Effects of State Immigration Policies on Preschool Enrollment of Children of Immigrants

Awarded Scholars:
Heather Koball, Columbia University
Sheila Smith, Columbia University
Project Date:
Apr 2018
Award Amount:

Co-funded with the Carnegie Corporation

Nearly five million children in the U.S. have at least one unauthorized immigrant parent who may be subject to deportation. Though the vast majority of these children are American citizens themselves, a high percentage live in poverty and have parents with limited English proficiency and low levels of education—factors that make these children vulnerable to poor academic achievement. While participation in preschool increases school readiness for kindergarten for low-income children—including immigrants and those whose parents speak a language other than English— heightened immigration enforcement may offset these efforts to increase school readiness among the children of unauthorized parents. Heather Koball and Sheila Smith will study how different immigrant enforcement policies at the state and local level either facilitate or discourage the participation of children with at least one unauthorized parent in early care and preschool programs.


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