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Colloquium: Erin Hamilton, University of California, Davis

March 8, 2023 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


U.S. Citizen Children De Facto Deported to Mexico


Between 2000 and 2015, the U.S. deported unprecedented numbers of Mexican immigrants. During the same period, the population of U.S.-born children living in Mexico doubled in size. In this study we estimate the number of and describe the circumstances facing U.S.-born children who emigrated to Mexico from the U.S. in order to accompany a deported parent: de facto deported children. The data come from the Mexican National Survey of Demographic Dynamics (ENADID), a national probability sample of households in Mexico collected in 2014 and 2018. About one in six U.S.-born children living in Mexico in 2014/2018, amounting to an estimated 80,000-100,000 U.S.-born children, were there because the U.S. government deported one or both of their parents. De facto deported U.S.-born children are socioeconomically disadvantaged in Mexico compared to U.S.-born children whose parents migrate to Mexico for other reasons. Women are over-represented among deported people who bring their U.S.-born children to Mexico, and when deported mothers bring their children, they are far less likely to do so with a partner than are deported fathers. U.S. policy should consider the interests of U.S. citizen children forced to live abroad when redesigning immigration and child welfare policies.


Dr. Erin Hamilton is associate professor of sociology, and an affiliate of the UC Davis Center for Poverty and Inequality Research, the UC Davis Global Migration Center, and the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas.


Research Focus:

Erin Hamilton studies when, why, and how people migrate, and with what consequences for migrants, their families, and the communities they leave and enter. Most of her research has focused on Mexico-U.S. migration, with studies of why and how rates of emigration vary across communities in Mexico, how the migration of family and community members affects the health of children in Mexico, and children’s role in migration. She also has studied the family structures of Salvadoran deportees, the indebtedness of Cambodian migrants, and the health of immigrants of all backgrounds in the United States. She is currently working on two projects – research on the wellbeing of young adult immigrants in California funded by the National Science Foundation and research on child and family migration between Mexico and the United States funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and UC MEXUS. She was a Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholar at El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City in spring 2019. Erin is the co-author, with Robert Hummer, of Population Health in America.


  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Texas, Austin, 2009
  • M.A., Sociology, University of Texas, Austin, 2005
  • B.A., Policy Studies, Rice University, 2001


March 8, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Hamilton Hall, Conference Room 271
102 Emerson DR
CHAPEL HILL, NC 27707 United States
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