New book on immigration and children

The human dimensions of the immigrant experience can easily get lost in the big-picture news reports about the demographic impact of the waves of economic refugees seeking entry into the United States. Behind the statistics are stories about real people; desperate fathers heading north to find work, wives left behind or heading north themselves, entrusting small children to relatives until the family can be reunited; children struggling to adjust to absent parents or, once relocated, to new cities, schools, languages and people.

Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, author and dean of Esperanza College, a division of Eastern University in Pennsylvania, has written a compact, bi-lingual book that goes a long way toward addressing the human face of immigration and the nuts and bolts challenges families face in trying to adjust before, during and after the often traumatic journey that over a half million economic refugees make each year to find work and hope in the United States.

Conde-Frazier is a religious educator with an eye for the social and spiritual issues children face in the immigrant experience. The book serves as a kind of manual for both families and those who help them, providing realistic scenarios and stories that model openness, good communication and the effective processing of emotions.

How and when should a parent tell their children that they are going to be absent? What are some of the common problems when the family is reunited? Children must make major adjustments in new cities, schools, a new culture, or because of issues of legal status, or in the case of workplace raids and deportation. What resources can immigrant families turn to in their new setting? How will parents adjust to a reversal of roles when their children learn the language and culture more quickly than their parents?

The book does not directly address the complex legal and cultural arguments for and against undocumented entry into the United States. It addresses the needs of families who, for whatever reason, are in transition and need basic human support while the larger question of legal status is dealt with at the national policy level.

The book is a useful tool for families, for church communities that are absorbing and ministering to immigrant populations, for educators, administrators and social service providers who work with them.

Subscribe button.jpg
Now, more than ever, we need to inspire action and a belief in the common good. But we need you. Subscribe today!

The profound human experience of today’s immigrants is not unlike the passages endured by previous generations displaced from their homeland by poverty and violence who sought refuge in a new land. Children bear the same grief and loss, have the same dreams and expectations their parents hold, but without the adult perspective and skills to process these emotions. "Listen to the Children" effectively explores their special needs.

Go to for more information about the book and about Judson Press.

Listen to the Children: Conversations with Immigrant Families
by Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier
Judson Press
$13.99 softcover, 140 pages (English/Spanish split format)

To see all of NCR's coverage of immigration, see our new blog: Immigration and the Church. To receive a weekly e-mail update with highlights from the blog, follow this link to the sign-up page. If you already receive e-mail alerts from NCR, add Immigration and the Church to your profile.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

April 21-May 4, 2017