STATE OF OPPORTUNITY. Can Kids in Michigan Get Ahead?
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5 recommended stories about kids and immigration to read this week

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User Yukiko Matsuoka
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The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statementin January on protecting immigrant children following president Trump's immigration-focused Executive Orders.

The statement highlighted the effects that these crackdowns can have on kids, including fear and toxic stress. Those can harm the developing brain and negatively impact both short- and long-term health.

Immigration and refugee policy are pretty complicated topics, and it can be easy to forget about the kids who are in the middle of that political debate. Here's a look back at some recent stories about how that debate is affecting young people here in America and across the world. 

1. A plan for kids in case Mom is deported

The Trump administration recently released new plans to crackdown on undocumented immigrantsliving in the U.S. Parents in immigrant communities are being advised to have a plan in place for their kids in case they are detained or deported.

My colleague Jennifer Guerra brought you a story earlier this month about a mom who wrote down their family’s plan in a three-ring binder, which she keeps in a closet. You can listen to that story here if you missed it.

2. DACA, one student's story

Nearly five years ago, President Barack Obama signed the executive order known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA gave "protected status" to immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before they turned 16.

NPR Ed's Claudio Sanchez spoke with one of those young people, 21-year-old Daisy Romero, about her experience under DACA and her feelings and fears under the current administration.

3. Coming to America as refugees, in children's words

In this short film by Zach Putnam, 4-year-old Almas and 10-year-old Mustafa, explain what it was like to leave Iraq for Beaverton, Oregon after their father Ahmed Al-Zubidi applied for refugee status in the United States.

4. 11 books to help you talk to your kids about immigration and refugees

It can be tough to talk to kids about complex topics like the refugee crisis and immigration policy. This article from ELLE Magazine lists 11 books that can help open up important conversations with kids of all ages about these topics. 

5. 'I have children crying in the classroom'

Families gathered at the Benjamin Franklin Health Science Academy in Brooklyn for a "Know Your Rights" forum on immigration hosted by U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez and the local school district. Christian Rodriguez is the school's parent coordinator and helped organize the forum.  She told NPR reporter Anya Kamenetz: 

"I have children crying in the classroom, crying in my office," she says. "When I ask them, 'Why are you crying?' They have expressed to me that they don't want their moms to be apprehended and taken away from them. It's something heavy on my heart."

Paulette is a blogger for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously interned as a reporter in the Michigan Radio newsroom.
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