Children of color and those belonging to immigrant families still face longer odds in Arizona, despite the progress the state has made since the recession, according to a new report.
The “2017 Race for Results” study comes out every three years and the 2017 version is the second in the series. It found that children of color are less likely to be enrolled in any type of preschool, or to graduate high school on time.
Dana Wolfe Naimark, president, and CEO of the Children’s Action Alliance says Arizona’s future depends on these kids.
“We’re not going to be able to reach our shared goals on educational achievement, on high school graduation, on post-secondary attainment if we keep leaving so many children behind,” she warns. “So we actually have to address it.”
Naimark says many policies passed at the state level in Arizona have actually harmed children of color disproportionately, citing, for example, policies on school discipline, a prohibition on bilingual education, and a law requiring English-only in state government.
In Arizona, 445,000 children live with an immigrant parent and 90 percent of them are U.S. citizens.
Laura Speer, the associate director of policy reform and advocacy at the Anne E. Casey Foundation, notes that the median income of these families is a third lower than that of U.S. born families and two-thirds of them live in poverty.
“Things like assistance with employment, access to tax credits, things like SNAP, housing and child care,” she says. “These are all things that can make a big difference in allowing parents to really be able to earn enough to support their families.”
The study also found that Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s stepped-up immigration raids coupled with President Trump’s decision to revoke the DACA program have created an unacceptable level of “toxic stress” for children of immigrant families who now fear for their future.
Public News Service – AZ