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Immigration

Using psychological science to support the American Dream and Promise Act

APASI sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee explaining the psychological harm to immigrant families if the American Dream and Promise Act is not passed.

Cite this
American Psychological Association. (2021, June 16). Using psychological science to support the American Dream and Promise Act. http://www.apaservices.org/advocacy/news/psychological-science-american-dream-act

APASI submitted a letter of support for H.R. 6, The American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 (PDF, 375KB), to be entered into the record for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the legislation.

In the letter, APASI illustrated how psychological research supports this legislation, which would help alleviate the stress experienced by immigrants by eliminating their fear of deportation. APASI also supports legislation that helps keep families together. Although Dreamers are primarily young adults, APASI explained that if this legislation is not passed, these immigrants could face separation from their parents or their young children who are U.S. citizens. Finally, there is ample evidence of Dreamers’ high level of engagement in society. 

The letter specifically identified mental health concerns for immigrants who often fear deportation. “Research demonstrates that adult immigrants who fear deportation are much more vulnerable to heart disease, asthma, diabetes, depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. Enduring effects seen in children include: emotional and behavioral changes or difficulties, sleep and eating disturbances, excessive crying, increased fear, poorer academic performance and aggressive and withdrawn behavior in older youth.”

The letter explained that Dreamers can be expected to continue to contribute positively to society, given their passion and desire to stay in the United States. The legislation, which already passed in the House, has yet to be addressed in the Senate. 

APASI will continue to work with Congress to help pass this important legislation. 

For more information, contact Serena Dávila.