CHAPTER 12
Children in Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Farmworker Families: Findings from the National Agricultural Workers Survey

Richard Mines

This paper reports information for the 1993 to 1995 period from the National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS), which interviews cropworkers across the United States annually. The NAWS collects detailed information about farm-workers as well as in-depth data about members of their families. Wherever possible the information directly describes children of interviewed farmworkers.

This paper also provides data on another (nonoverlapping) group of young people: the employed minor farmworkers (under age 18) directly interviewed by the NAWS who are living away from their parents. Information on these minor interviewees supplements the data on the children of farmworkers who live in their parents' households. These farmworker children who are unaccompanied by their parents are a small but significant group.1

1  

 During the period under study (fiscal years 1993 to 1995), young (under age 18) farmworkers unaccompanied by their parents made up 3.6 percent of all interviewees. Based on a national estimate of 1,810,000 farmworkers, there were about 65,000 of these workers. The figure 1.81 million is derived from the total number of farmworkers estimated by the Commission on Agricultural Workers (2.5 million) multiplied by the proportion of cropworkers estimated by the 1990 U.S. Census of Population and Housing (72.4 percent).



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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance CHAPTER 12 Children in Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Farmworker Families: Findings from the National Agricultural Workers Survey Richard Mines This paper reports information for the 1993 to 1995 period from the National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS), which interviews cropworkers across the United States annually. The NAWS collects detailed information about farm-workers as well as in-depth data about members of their families. Wherever possible the information directly describes children of interviewed farmworkers. This paper also provides data on another (nonoverlapping) group of young people: the employed minor farmworkers (under age 18) directly interviewed by the NAWS who are living away from their parents. Information on these minor interviewees supplements the data on the children of farmworkers who live in their parents' households. These farmworker children who are unaccompanied by their parents are a small but significant group.1 1    During the period under study (fiscal years 1993 to 1995), young (under age 18) farmworkers unaccompanied by their parents made up 3.6 percent of all interviewees. Based on a national estimate of 1,810,000 farmworkers, there were about 65,000 of these workers. The figure 1.81 million is derived from the total number of farmworkers estimated by the Commission on Agricultural Workers (2.5 million) multiplied by the proportion of cropworkers estimated by the 1990 U.S. Census of Population and Housing (72.4 percent).

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance Finally, first-generation Puerto Rican-born farmworkers, since they are neither immigrants nor were born in one of the 50 United States, were treated differently in the analysis. Children living in Puerto Rico were not included in the sample of U.S.-based children and were treated as a separate group in the analysis. INTRODUCTION The arduous fieldwork of large-scale crop agriculture in the United States has been done, in large measure, by foreign-born or domestic migrants. Many ethnic groups and nationalities have taken such jobs temporarily, only to be replaced by later-arriving groups. When U.S.-born whites and blacks were the main source of labor in the 1930s, they were internal migrants who moved from the Midwest and South to the West. As journalist Carey McWilliams (1935) put it: "Sources of cheap labor in China, Japan, the Philippine Islands, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Deep South, and Europe have been generously tapped to recruit its ever expanding [farmworker] ranks. As one contingent of recruits after the other has been exhausted, or has mutinied, others have been assembled to take their places." Agriculture provides or enforces on its workers a flow-through labor market with extraordinarily high rates of turnover. In recent years almost one in five farmworkers was new to U.S. agriculture in the year of the interview—a rate of influx and departure that is quite remarkable. However, the flow through for workers who have U.S.-based children has been much less; just one in 20 of the U.S.-based children has parents who were new to agriculture in the year of the NAWS interview. Among the unaccompanied children who themselves worked in agriculture the rate was much higher—over half (56 percent) were in their first year of U.S. farmwork. Farmwork has not, for the most part, been a lifetime profession. Instead, it is a job for young workers at the beginning of their employment careers and in their prime working years. The NAWS has demonstrated that in recent years about two-thirds of all farmworkers have been younger than 35 years of age. These are also the years of childbearing and the rearing of young children for these workers. More than four in 10 (44 percent) of the

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance children of farmworkers in the NAWS were under age 6 and three-quarters (75 percent) were younger than age 12. Many foreign-born farmworkers go through various stages on a continuum between international back-and-forth migration and settlement. Large numbers of workers settle down in U.S. urban areas, where some find better jobs. Some settle in one farm area in the United States and live off agricultural work. Others continue migrating despite the inconvenience of transporting their families long distances at least twice a year. Finally, many find the environment north of the border inhospitable and return to their home country (see Gabbard et al., 1994). Conditions in the farmworker community are greatly influenced by a large population of unaccompanied males (over half of all farmworkers) who have yet to bring or who will never bring their families to the United States. Many are married and have children abroad; a significant percentage are minors themselves and spend time in the United States working far from their parents. Many other occupations depend on a high-turnover flow-through labor market that is constantly replenished by new immigrants. The garment and shoe sector, the back-of-the-house restaurant and hotel industry, the auto parts industry, the food-processing sector, the janitorial service industry, and many other sectors have been documented as relying on new immigrants (see Waldinger, 1996; U.S. Government Accounting Office, 1987; Mines and Avina, 1992; Lichtner and Waldinger, 1996). The children of these nonagricultural workers (who greatly outnumber farm-workers' children) may have living conditions similar to those of the children of farmworkers. The study of children of immigrant farmworkers does not provide much information about children of foreign-born workers who have been living in the United States for many years. Because of the nature of this population, the focus of the present study is on the early years of immigration, settlement, and back-and-forth flows. Still, as a study of risk factors among poor immigrants struggling to survive and raise a family in their first years in the United States, the study of children of farmworkers serves as an excellent laboratory.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance A Word About the Naws The NAWS is a random employer-based sample survey of about 2,500 farmworkers per year, gathered in three cycles—winter, summer, and fall. Data from the surveys occurring in fiscal years 1993 to 1995 are used here. There were about 7,000 interviews in total in those years. Among these, there were about 3,000 parents, who together had about 6,000 children ages 0 to 17. These parents, their spouses, and children constitute the sample for the major part of this paper. Not counting their spouses, the parent interviewees are representative of about 775,000 farmworker parents who have about 1.6 million children. Of these children, about 880,000 live in the United States and about 720,000 live abroad at any given time.2 In addition, a small group of interviewed children living away from their parents are analyzed separately. Organization of the Tables and Paper The demographic and service access data are organized into two sections below. First, the basic demographics of children of farmworkers are used to describe certain obstacles they face in trying to gain access to American society. Then, some measures of the access they have achieved are reported. Finally, a separate group of children, those working in the United States without their parents, are described. The first two sections of this paper are organized such that data can be reported and verified in stepwise fashion from Tables 12-1 to 12-4. The descriptions for the first three tables are for U.S.- 2   The number of children is calculated by taking the ratio of weighted sampled children during fiscal years 1993 to 1995 to weighted sampled farmworker interviewees during the same years. This ratio is 0.88. This proportion of the total 1,810,000 cropworker population is approximately 1.6 million children. Fifty-five percent of the children are in the United States, 44 percent are abroad, and 1 percent are in Puerto Rico. 3   The sample size of 4,838 in Tables 12-1 through 12-3 represents an estimated 880,000 children. These are the U.S.-based children. Adding the Puerto Rico-based children for Table 12-4, the sample size grows to 4,905, which represents an estimated population of 892,000 children. The population estimates of all cropworkers are derived from the Commission on Agricultural Workers and the U.S. Census of Population and Housing. They are lower-limit estimates.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance TABLE 12-1 Circumstances of Children in Farmworker Families, for U.S.-Based Children by Child's Birthplace: 1993-195   U.S.-Born (%) Foreign-Born (%) Total U.S.-Based (%) Interviewed Parent's Characteristics       U.S.-born non-Hispanic 28.0 0.0 21.0 U.S.-born Hispanic 9.0 1.0 7.5 Mexican-born 60.0 94.0 69.0 Other foreign-born 2.0 5.0 2.5 Total 100.0 100. 100.0 Parent finisher 8 or more years of school 46.0 18.0 40.1 Family migrates each year 22.0 23.0 25.4 School Variables       Enrolled in school, ages 6-11 (N = 974) 92.0 84.0 88.1 Enrolled in school, ages 12-17 (N = 873) 93.0 78.0 87.3 Behind grade level (N = 1,848) 13.3 23.6 16.7 Family Income       Median family income $12,500-$14,999 $10,000-$12,499 $10,000-$12,499 Families below the poverty line (lower-bound estimate) 61.0 86.0 67.2 Families below the poverty line (upper-bound estimate) 66.0 89.8 72.9 Extended Family Members in Household 5.0 6.0 5.6

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance   U.S.-Born (%) Foreign-Born (%) Total U.S.-Based (%) Family Receives Federal Services 61.0 56.0 59.5 AFDC 9.0 3.0 7.7 Food stamps 40.0 31.0 38.3 Medicaid 40.0 32.0 37.7 WIC (N= 1,400) 43.0 20.0 40.3 Family in Poverty and Receives Federal Services 79.0 56.0 71.8 AFDC 15.0 3.0 10.7 Food stamps 57.0 35.0 50.7 Medicaid 50.0 34.0 45.0 WIC (N = 986) 47.0 21.0 43.4 Source of Family's Health Care       Emergency room 20.0 37.0 27.9 Migrant health clinic 10.0 18.0 13.0 Nowhere 9.8 11.0 6.4 Private 42.0 25.0 35.6 Public 19.2 9.8 19.0 Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 Family's Perceived Difficulty in Obtaining Health Care 17.0 25.0 19.6 Parent Mixes or Handles Pesticides at Work 29.9 24.7 28.5 Total, All Children 74.1 24.9 100.0 NOTES: N = 4,838, except where noted. See Appendix 12A for descriptions of selected variables.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance TABLE 12-2 Circumstances of Children in Farmworker Families, for U.S.-Based Children by Parental Presence in Household and Birthplace, 1993-1995   Children in Immigrant Families   Two-Parent Families   Both Foreign Born (%) One Foreign Born (%) Child lives in U.S. and abroad 5.3 1.5 Child lives only in U.S. 94.7 98.5 Total (N = 2,045) 100.0 100.0 Siblings born in U.S. and abroad 43.6 5.6 Siblings all born in U.S. 56.4 94.4 Total (N = 2,045) 100.0 100.0 Child separated from one parent (N = 5,621) 59.1 10.1 Child's father came to U.S. first (N = 1,139) 71.0 X Child's family migrates each year 29.6 31.0 Parent finished 8 or more years of school 21.0 36.0 Child enrolled in school, ages 6-11 (N = 974) 85.9 86.2 Child enrolled in school, ages 12-17 (N = 873) 84.8 91.0 Child behind grade level (N = 1,848) 15.5 11.1 Median family income $10,000-$12,499 $10,000-$12,499 Families below the poverty line (lower-bound estimate) 76.0 68.0 Families below the poverty line (upper-bound estimate) 82.0 71.2 Extended family members in household 7.0 5.0 Nonfamily present in household 29.0 24.0 Family receiving any federal services 66.0 68.0 AFDC 44.6 40.3 Food stamps 38.0 47.0 Medicaid 41.0 43.0 WIC (N = 1,400) 31.0 33.0 Family in poverty and receives federal services 70.0 81.0 AFDC 4.0 12.0 Food stamps 46.0 65.0 Medicaid 43.0 49.0 WIC (N = 986) 34.0 36.0 Family's source of health care Emergency room 25.4 23.6 Migrant health clinic 11.3 17.2 Nowhere 5.7 5.0 Private 31.5 32.3 Public 19.2 19.8 Total 100.0 100.0 Family's perceived difficulty in obtaining health care 22.0 21.8 Parent mixes or applies pesticides at work 30.6 24.1 Total, all U.S.-based children 58.2 10.0 NOTES: N = 4,838, except where noted. See Appendix 12A for descriptions of selected variables.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance     Children in Nonimmigrant Families   One-Parent Family Two-Parent Family One-Parent Family     Lone-Parent Foreign Born (%) Both U.S. Born (%) Lone-Parent U.S. Born (%) Total U.S.-Based (%) Child lives in U.S. and abroad 15.1 X X 3.3 Child lives only in U.S. 84.9 X X 96.7 Total (N = 2,045) 100.0 X X   Siblings born in U.S. and abroad 36.3 X X 26.1 Siblings all born in U.S. 63.7 X X 73.9 Total (N = 2,045) 100.0 X X   Child separated from one parent (N = 5,621) X 2.2 X 50.8 Child's father came to U.S. first (N = 1,139) X X X 71.3 Child's family migrates each year 35.0 11.7 11.7 27.2 Parent finished 8 or more years of school 29.0 89.0 88.0 39.8 Child enrolled in school, ages 6-11 (N = 974) 97.0 93.3 87.8 87.9 Child enrolled in school, ages 12-17 (N = 873) 87.4 89.9 96.4 87.2 Child behind grade level (N = 1,848) 27.9 18.1 17.9 17.2 Median family income $10,000$12,499 $10,000$12,499 $10,000 -$12,499 $10,000$12,499 Families below the poverty line (lower-bound estimate) 86.0 31.0 80.0 67.4 Families below the poverty line (upper-bound estimate) 87.9 36.2 82.7 73.1 Extended family members in household 6.0 3.0 4.0 5.6 Nonfamily present in household 33.0 10.0 30.0 26.0 Family receiving any federal services 62.4 27.0 79.0 59.5 AFDC 41.5 16.6 68.6 42.1 Food stamps 43.0 20.0 71.0 37.7 Medicaid 40.0 16.0 59.0 37.8 WIC (N = 1,400) 22.0 7.0 38.0 26.8 Family in poverty and receives federal services 60.0 60.0 92.0 71.5 AFDC 21.0 20.0 52.0 10.6 Food stamps 47.0 52.0 82.0 50.7 Medicaid 46.0 35.0 69.0 45.0 WIC (N = 986) 23.0 14.0 39.0 31.6 Family's source of health care         Emergency room 40.4 16.2 23.9 25.9 Migrant health clinic 13.9 2.6 2.9 9.7 Nowhere 9.9 0.6 3.5 4.8 Private 10.2 58.3 34.9 35.9 Public 24.6 20.3 35.3 23.7 Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 Family's perceived difficulty in obtaining health care 31.2 9.4 14.6 19.7 Parent mixes or applies pesticides at work 21.7 331.6 15.8 28.4 Total, all U.S.-based children 6.5 18.4 6.8 100.0

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance TABLE 12-3 Circumstances of Children in Farmworker Families, for U.S.-Based Children by Legal Status of Child's Interviewed Parent, 1993-1995   U.S. Citizen (%) Legal Resident (%) Status Pending (%) Unauthorized (%) Total U.S.-Based (%) Parent is U.S.-born non-Hispanic 63.5 0.0 0.0 0.2 20.6 Parent is U.S.-born Hispanic 26.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 7.4 Parent is Mexican born 9.1 98.4 93.2 93.5 68.0 Parent is other foreign born 1.0 1.4 5.9 6.1 2.5 Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 Child is U.S. born 95.0 69.0 56.0 53.0 74.4 Child is foreign born 3.0 30.0 43.0 43.0 0.7 Child was born in Puerto Rico 2.2 10.0 0.0 4.0 24.6 Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 Child lives in U.S. and abroad X 3.3 8.4 14.2 3.2 Child lives only in U.S. X 96.7 91.6 85.8 96.8 Total (N = 2,045) X 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 Siblings born in U.S. and abroad X 34.9 52.4 45.7 26.0 Siblings all born in U.S. X 65.1 47.7 54.3 74.0 Total (N = 2,045) X 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance   U.S. Citizen (%) Legal Resident (%) Status Pending (%) Unauthorized (%) Total U.S.-Based (%) Child separated from one parent (N = 5,621) 16.9 40.7 56.8 77.0 50.6 Child's father came to U.S. first (N = 1,139) X 81.2 77.4 77.4 75.3 Child's family migrates each year 21.5 23.1 34.7 46.7 27.2 Parent finished 8 or more years of school 79.0 22.0 15.0 25.0 40.5 Child enrolled in school, ages 6-11 (N = 974) 91.0 86.0 85.0 85.0 87.4 Child enrolled in school, ages 12-17 (N = 873) 91.0 89.0 71.0 75.0 86.9 Child behind grade level (N = 1,848) 19.5 12.1 26.3 25.4 17.2 Median family income $12,500 $12,500 $10,000 $7,500 $10,000   $14,999 $14,999 $12,499 $9,999 $12,499 Families below the poverty line (lower-bound estimate) 50.0 69.0 86.0 86.0 67.2 Families below the poverty line (upper-bound estimate) 54.8 77.1 87.9 89.3 72.9 Extended family members in household 4.0 7.0 9.0 3.0 5.5 Nonfamily present in household 20.0 14.0 34.0 54.0 26.9 Family receives any federal services 46.0 64.0 70.0 64.0 59.5 AFDC 13.7 4.8 1.7 6.6 7.6 Food stamps 29.0 60.0 55.0 38.0 38.3 Medicaid 24.0 47.0 32.0 41.0 37.5 WIC (N = 1,400) 29.0 41.0 62.0 43.0 40.3 Total, all U.S.-based children 33.2 42.4 8.9 15.5 100.0 NOTES: N = 4,838, except where noted. See Appendix 12A for descriptions of selected variables.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance TABLE 12-4 Circumstances of Children in Farmworker Families, for U.S.-Based and Puerto Rico-Based Children by Ethnicity and Birthplace of Child's Interviewed Parent, 1993-1995   U.S.-Born Non-Hispanic (%) U.S.-Born Hispanic (%) Child lives in U.S. and abroad X 0.3 Child lives only in U.S. X 99.7 Total (N = 2,045) X 73.0 Siblings born in U.S. and abroad X 3.1 Siblings all born in U.S. X 96.9 Total (N = 2,045) X 100.0 Child separated from one parent (N = 5,621) 1.3 8.9 Child's father came to U.S. first (N = 658) X X Child's family migrates each year 6.3 37.7 Parent finished 8 or more years of school 92.0 63.0 Child enrolled in school, ages 6-11 (N = 1,537) 92.2 85.4 Child enrolled in school, ages 12-17 (N = 1,310) 91.2 91.1 Child behind grade level (N = 1,892) 17.3 21.1 Median family income $17,500-$19,999 $10,000-$12,499 Families below the poverty line (lower-bound estimate) 41.7 77.0 Families below the poverty line (upper-bound estimate) 37.0 74.0 Extended family members in household 0.0 5.0 Nonfamily present in household 14.0 22.0 Family receives any federal services 37.0 70.0 AFDC 38.5 37.5 Food stamps 28.0 60.0 Medicaid 24.0 47.0 WIC (N = 1,423) 34.0 41.0 Family in poverty and receives any federal services 73.0 81.0 TAFDC 33.0 30.0 Food stamps 62.0 74.0 Medicaid 48.0 53.0 WIC (N = 1,010) 39.0 37.0 Family's source of health care     Emergency room 18.5 18.6 Migrant health clinic 0.0 16.1 Nowhere 1.1 3.5 Private 52.0 41.1 Public 22.0 17.6 Total 100.0 100.0 Family's perceived difficulty in obtaining health care 9.3 19.6 Parent mixes or applies pesticides 29.1 16.4 Total, all U.S.-based children 20.20 7.30 NOTES: N = 4,905, except where noted. See Appendix 12A for descriptions of selected variables.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance with a pending status head and 7 percent of those from undocumented families (Table 12-3). With respect to the other three noncash benefits programs, the patterns of utilization are different. For children in all families in the NAWS, regardless of income levels, all programs were used at moderate levels—about 40 percent of the children lived in families that used them. For children in poor-only families, higher levels of use were recorded; 43 to 51 percent of the children lived in families that used these programs (Table 12-1). For children in poor-only families, food stamps were the most used program; 51 percent of such children lived in families that used food stamps. A focus on children in poor-only families shows the distinctions in utilization patterns for food stamps more clearly. U.S.-born children's families were much more likely to use the program than those in foreign-born families. Looking at the groups by family type shows that the proportionately highest users were children in U.S. single-parent families—82 percent (Table 12-2). Among children with mixed-nationality parents, 65 percent received food stamps. For the other groups—children in two-parent families and single-parent foreign-born families—about half lived in families that received food stamps. Analysis by ethnic group shows similar trends. The groups with the highest proportions of food stamp use were U.S. Hispanics (74 percent) and U.S. non-Hispanics (62 percent). The families of children from the other groups received proportionately less in the way of food stamps—-60 percent of children in Puerto Rican families, 47 percent of children in Mexican-born families, and 40 percent of the families of other foreign-born children (Table 12-4). In sum, moderate levels of all groups used food stamps, while higher proportions of some U.S.-born groups did so. Medicaid was the second most frequently utilized federal program for the poor-only group. Among all farmworkers' children, 38 percent were from families using Medicaid, while in the poor-only group, 45 percent were from families receiving Medicaid benefits. Again, the focus here is strictly on the poor-only group to demonstrate clear distinctions in utilization across groups. As with the other social services, the families of U.S.-born children used Medicaid more than the families of foreign-born children. Looking at utilization by type of family, certain patterns emerge.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance Sixty-nine percent of the children of a single U.S.-born parent lived in families using Medicaid. Between 43 and 49 percent of the families of children with one or more foreign-born parents used the service. However, fewer of the families of children in two-parent U.S.-born families used Medicaid than the other family types (Table 12-2). With respect to ethnic groups, there are a few small differences. Fifty-three percent of the children of U.S.-born Hispanics lived in families using this service, while fewer Puerto Ricans and other foreign born did so—about a third of the children's families in these groups used the service (Table 12-4). In sum, fewer than half of poor farmworkers' children lived in families using Medicaid. The only exceptions were children in U.S.-born single-parent families and U.S.-born Hispanic families. The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program also is used to some extent by farmworker families. In the NAWS 40 percent of children age 5 and under came from families of all income brackets that utilized this benefit. For children under age 6 in families below the poverty line, the rate of receipt rose only to 43 percent. Again, I report data for the poor-only groups to show distinctions more clearly. Proportionately twice as many U.S-born children's families used WIC than the families of foreign-born children (47 vs. 21 percent; Table 12-1). Family types show that the smallest percentage of users is found in families made up of two U.S.-born parents—only 14 percent of children from that group were in families that received WIC. Again, proportionately more children in U.S.-born single-parent families used the program (69 percent) than the other groups (42 to 45 percent of the childrens' families did; Table 12-2). According to ethnic group, approximately 40 percent of the children in U.S.-born and Mexican-born families (with children under age 6) lived in families receiving WIC, while only about 5 percent of the children of Puerto Rican and other foreign-born families did so (Table 12-4). One comment must be made about the use of these three in-kind transfer payments by legal status. Analyzing the data regardless of poverty level, the differences among the foreign-born legal status groups are not remarkable. One exception is that for food stamps higher percentages of children in the legal permanent resident and pending status families received food stamps than children in undocumented families. It is with undocu-

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance mented farmworkers with children born abroad but living in the United States that the level of children receiving services drops markedly. Fewer U.S.-based children born abroad who lived with an unauthorized parent had a parent receiving federal social services than did U.S.-born children living with parents who are unauthorized U.S. residents. Only about 18 percent of these foreign-born children are in families that received food stamps, 26 percent received Medicaid, and 23 percent received WIC. It should be noted that the presence of an unauthorized interviewee in a household may not mean that the family does not qualify for services. Another adult may be a legal resident, and some services, such as emergency Medicaid, are legally available to unauthorized U.S. residents. Turning our attention to another measure of children's well-being—use of health care services—we find that farmworker parents have some interesting access patterns. Among all children, about a third (30 percent) are in families that go to public clinics (including migrant clinics) for health care, about a quarter (24 percent) go to emergency rooms, about a third go to private doctors (34 percent), and about 5 percent either go nowhere or go back to their native country. However, among major groups there are big differences. For example, the proportion of children in U.S.-born non-Hispanic farmworker families using private doctors is relatively high—over half (52 percent). These children's families are much less likely to use emergency rooms—only 18 percent do. For children from Mexican-born households, 30 percent lived in families using private doctors and 27 percent use emergency rooms. Migrant health care centers are used almost exclusively by foreign-born residents and U.S.-born Hispanics. Children from U.S.-born Hispanic families are in households that are actually the largest relative users of migrant clinics—16 percent of these children are from families that seek health care services at these clinics. Puerto Ricans follow the pattern of the foreign-born groups—almost half use emergency care and very few private doctors (Table 12-4). Looking at family structure, another interesting finding emerges; nearly 4 out of 10 children from foreign-born single-parent families are taken to emergency rooms when they are sick, a much larger proportion than those who use other service providers (Table 12-2).

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance A relatively large percentage (19 percent) of farmworker parents say that it is difficult to access health care in the United States. Fewer U.S.-born children live in families experiencing difficulty than those who are foreign born. Only 9 percent of children in non-Hispanic U.S.-born families experienced difficulty; 19 percent of all the other ethnic categories lived in families that experienced difficulty obtaining health care services (Table 12-4). Among children in families headed by a non-Mexican foreign-born person, 32 percent reported difficulty accessing health care. This difficulty is experienced by twice as many children (proportionately) from families with at least one foreign parent (22 percent) than by children without a foreign-born parent (11 percent). Foreign-born single parents more often reported having a difficult time accessing health care in the United States. For 31 percent of children from this type of family, health care was perceived as hard to obtain (Table 12-2). For those who find health care services difficult to obtain, the major barriers for farmworkers' children are cost (34 percent), language (17 percent), and fear of losing one's job if one goes to the doctor (11 percent). With respect to language, only children with both foreign-born parents or a foreign-born single parent experienced this barrier; families with mixed-nationality parents, not surprisingly, had few problems of this type. A small group of children have farmworker parents who have access to off-the-job health care—14 percent. The proportion of children with a parent who is a U.S.-born non-Hispanic with access to health care is somewhat higher (17 percent) than among children of U.S. Hispanics (8 percent) and children of foreign-born parents (14 percent). The proportion of children whose parents are unauthorized U.S. residents or have pending status who are covered by off-the-job health care is much lower—only 6 percent. Many farmworkers mix or apply pesticides and other chemicals in their work. In the NAWS, 28 percent of all children have parents who engage in this activity. About 14 percent of such children live on a farm with their parents. Of these children, 34 percent have parents who apply or mix chemicals at work. U.S.-born children are more likely to live with parents who apply pesticides at work (30 percent) than are foreign-born children (25 percent; Table 12-1). There are few patterns by type of family: children in two-parent families were more likely to have a

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance head of household who applies pesticides at work than children in single-parent families. By ethnic group, the groups most likely to apply pesticides are Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and U.S. non-Hispanics (Table 12-4). This task is more closely associated with experience and seniority than with ethnic group or family organization. UNACCOMPANIED MINORS In addition to the children of employed farmworkers, the NAWS collects data on another group of children—those who are themselves farmworkers and who are not living with their parents at the time of their NAWS interview. In the 1993 to 1995 surveys these employed unaccompanied children made up about 4 percent of the interviewees, or the equivalent of 65,000 workers.9 About two-thirds of these minors are foreign born. These young foreigners, who number perhaps 44,000 workers, are a group especially likely to experience high risk on the socioeconomic factors measured in the NAWS (see Table 12-5). They have very low personal income—the median is $1,000 to $2,500 per year. Even including the incomes of relatives with whom they share their budgets, family income averages $2,500 to $5,000 per year. Like most foreign farmworkers, these children have a low level of educational achievement—only 35 percent of the young foreign workers have gone to school beyond the eighth grade. They are also an extremely migratory group—79 percent migrated in the year prior to their interview. Almost one-quarter of them follow crops from one area of the United States to another during the year, and almost three out of five either are first-year immigrants or return to their country of origin each year. Nearly 9 out of 10 do not have documents authorizing them to work in the 9    The weighted sample size for all unaccompanied youth for 1993 to 1995 is 248 workers. The sample size for the foreign born is 167. From these weighted sample sizes (as a proportion of all workers in the total sample) point estimates of the population were calculated. The base level of cropworkers is 1,810,000, derived from the U.S. Census of Population and Housing for the proportion of cropworkers and the Commission on Agricultural Workers for the size of the total population of farmworkers (see note 1).

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance United States. Almost all of them are between the ages of 14 and 17, 6 percent are married, and a large majority (85 percent) are boys. These children often live in all-male environments, where lack of adult supervision and protection may put them at risk. There are several indicators of risk in the NAWS data. First, almost all of these children live in households without any relatives at all—only 13 percent live with a relative who is not their parent. The households they live in receive almost no social services. Despite the fact that 78 percent of such children live below the poverty line, their households receive no transfer payments; 2 percent receive WIC, 6 percent receive Medicaid, and 6 percent receive food stamps. Despite their age, 15 percent mix or apply pesticides, and few (23 percent) receive instruction on how to use the chemicals safely, as is required by law. In addition, over half say it is difficult to access health care facilities. Seventy-three percent indicate that the language barrier keeps them from finding health care services. When they do find services, 38 percent use emergency rooms, 42 percent go to public clinics, only 7 percent go to private doctors, and 14 percent go back to their native country when sick or they do not seek treatment. Finally, only 1 percent, compared to 11 percent of all farmworkers, say that they are covered by off-the-job health insurance. The other one-third of these young unaccompanied workers are U.S. born. Apparently, these young people are better connected to family and U.S. institutions than their foreign-born counterparts, as their conditions are somewhat better. Although they earn little income themselves (the median is $1,000 to $2,500), they are associated with households whose median annual incomes are $10,000 to $12,500. About half live below the poverty line. These youth have had much more education than their foreign-born counterparts—more than half completed tenth grade or beyond. Their rates of migration are much less—only 20 percent migrate each year. More of them receive federal social services—21 percent receive food stamps, 17 percent receive Medicaid, and 4 percent receive WIC. On one issue they are at greater risk than foreign-born young people: 24 percent mix or apply pesticides in their work.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance SUMMARY This study of farmworkers' children serves as a first look at such children. Many of these children are disadvantaged by educational and linguistic handicaps, by separation from their parents, and often by periodic migration. In fact, the farmworkers' world can be seen as a sort of ''foreign island" in American society, where Spanish is a first language and the proportion of newly arrived foreign born each year is extremely high. The high flow-through labor market characterized by a high percentage of solo males is common in other labor markets but is difficult to study since household-based surveys and censuses miss many of the participants in these labor markets. The research reported here is a first such effort to describe the circumstances of children in one of these labor markets. This paper shows that many of these children experience a variety of risks. They are "strangers in our fields"—three-quarters of U.S.-based farmworkers' children have a foreign parent and a quarter are foreign born. Although children of foreign-born parents are less likely to be from single-parent families, most are separated from one of their parents. In addition, a quarter of the children are in the migrant stream. All together, about 212,000 farmworkers' children migrate each year. Among these are about 80,000 who go back and forth across international borders. The data show that these "international shuttle" children are particularly likely to be behind in school. In fact, most farmworkers' children have parents with limited educational attainments—only 40 percent have parents who finished the eighth grade. Moreover, more than one-sixth of the U.S.-based children are behind grade level for their age. This rate is higher for teenagers, many of whom work with their parents in the fields. The most serious difficulty for such children may be extreme poverty, especially for the foreign born and for U.S. Hispanics. Overall, 68 to 73 percent of the children come from families whose income is below the poverty line. For the foreign born and U.S. Hispanics, three-quarters live in poverty. Despite this poverty, most poor children's families do not use most federal social services. Except for food stamps, most legally authorized poor families, who clearly qualify for the programs, do not use them.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance When they are sick, immigrant families tend to use emergency rooms and public clinics. Many children have parents who say they have difficulty accessing care because of language and economic barriers. In addition, many have parents who mix and apply pesticides in their work, which may be a hazard for the children. Finally, there is a small but significant group of unaccompanied children, most of whom are far from their Mexican and Central American parents. They live in all-male subgroups and face some of the most severe risks of any farmworkers be they adults or children. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The author thanks Kyra Kissam, Anne Steirman, Susan Gabbard, Bea Boccalandro, Flavio Flefferman, and Victor Renteria for their contributions to the preparation of this paper. This paper reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of the U.S. Department of Labor. REFERENCES Commission on Agricultural Workers 1993 Report to Congress, Case Studies and Research Reports, Appendix I. Washington, D.C.: Commission on Agricultural Workers. Gabbard, S., R. Mines, and B. Boccalandro 1994 Migrant Farmworkers: Pursuing Stability in an Unstable Labor Market. Research Report No. 5. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. Griffith, D., and E. Kissam 1995 Working Poor. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Lichter, M., and R. Waldinger 1996 Black/Immigrant Labor Market Competition: New Insights from a Case Study of the Hospital Industry in Los Angeles. Unpublished manuscript, UCLA. McWilliams, C. 1935 Factories in the Field. Santa Barbara: Peregrine Press. Mines, R., and J. Avina 1992 Immigrants and labor standards: The case of California janitors. In U.S.-Mexico Relations: Labor Market Interdependence, J. Bustamante, C. Reynolds, and R. Hinojosa, eds. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance Mines, R., S. Gabbard, and A. Steirman 1997 A Profile of U.S. Farmworkers: Demographics, Household Composition, Income and Use of Services. Research Report No. 6. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Labor. U.S. Government Accounting Office 1997 Illegal Aliens: Influence of Illegal Workers on Wages and Working Conditions of Legal Workers. GAO/PEMD-88-13BR. Washington, D.C.: U.S. General Accounting Office. Waldinger, R. 1996 Still the Promised City. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance APPENDIX 12A: EXPLANATION OF SELECTED VARIABLES Child is separated from one parent: This variable gives the percentage of children separated from one of their parents if they live in a two-parent family. It includes children based abroad and in the United States and therefore has a larger sample size than the other variables. Child's father came to the United States first: This variable gives the percentage of children whose fathers preceded them to the United States. It includes only U.S.-based foreign-born children who have a foreign-born parent. Child's family migrates every year: This variable gives the percentage of children whose interviewee parent moves 75 miles or more to look for or obtain farmwork. Parent finished eight or more years of school: This variable gives the percentage of children whose interviewee parent finished eight years of school. Child is enrolled in school: This variable gives the percentage of children enrolled in school in the year of the interview. It includes only children age 6 and older. Child is behind in grade level: This variable gives the percentage of children who were a full year or more behind in school for their age. For example, a 9 year old who has not reached second grade or a 17 year old who has not reached tenth grade would be classified as behind. It includes only children age 6 and older. Median family income: This variable gives the median income range earned by the families of farmworker children.

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Children of Immigrants: Health, Adjustment, and Public Assistance Poverty: Since income is reported as a range rather than a point quantity, two calculations were made: one underestimates poverty in the groups (lower-bound estimate) and one overestimates it (upper-bound estimate). In the lower-bound estimate, the top of the range was used to estimate poverty for the family; in the upper-bound estimate, the bottom of the range was used. For example, if a family of four reported an income level of $12,500 to $15,000 and if the poverty threshold is $13,500, it is not known for sure on which side of the line the family is. As a result, two calculations were made, one assuming the family earned $12,500 and fell below the poverty line (upper-bound estimate) and one assuming it earned $15,000 and thus was not poor (lower-bound estimate). In the text the conservative lower-bound measure was used. AFDC, food stamps, Medicaid, WIC: These variables give the percentage of children from families that collected a given federal benefit. WIC is for children age 5 and younger. Source of family's health care: This variable presents the percentage of children whose families used different kinds of health care providers. Family's perceived difficulty in obtaining health care: This variable gives the percentage of children whose parents find it difficult to access health care. Parent mixes or handles pesticides at work: This variable gives the percentage of children whose interviewee parent mixes or applies pesticides.