Scholars with the Institute for Immigration, Globalization and Education at UCLA and the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute at USC examined more than 50 peer-reviewed studies about the impact of a parent’s unauthorized immigration status. Their review found that the negative effects have been measured in educational achievement, cognitive development and emotional stability.

The impacts can be reversed, the report says, and a parent’s legalization can place their children on a life trajectory equal to their peers.

The report informs an amicus brief filed by children’s rights advocates and educational organizations in support of President Obama’s executive order to shield unauthorized immigrants from deportation. The White House plan is being challenged in court.

“The data are in and they speak loud and clear: the relief proposed by the president will bring very real and immediate benefits to these American children and their immigrant parents,” said Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Wasserman dean of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA, co-director of the Institute for Immigration, Globalization and Education and one of the report’s authors. “Protecting a parent from deportation … immediately and significantly improves these children’s lives now and moving forward, enabling them to contribute productively for decades to come.”

Read the full news release.