Researcher: Immigrant Child Poverty Studies "Overstate the Issue"

By Chris Hoenig

Scholars who argue that the increase in children from immigrant families has a large impact on the national poverty level for children are wrong and “overstate the issue,” according to a Rutgers University researcher.

Study author Myungkook Joo, an Assistant Professor at the university’s School of Social Work, challenged the popular belief that children of immigrant parents pose a hurdle to the U.S. economy and push the child-poverty rate higher. “As the national debate on immigration has grown stronger, including immigrants’ use of many social services, some have argued that the reason for the high child-poverty rate has mostly been due to the large number of children in low-skilled, poor immigrant families,” Joosaid. “Although the share of children in immigrant families did affect the child-poverty rate in the analyses, the findings suggest that media coverage and public discussion on the effects of immigration on child poverty do not seem to correspond with the empirical evidence and are likely to overstate the issue.”

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