According to the Children Thrive Action Network, an estimated 218,000 children in New Jersey have an undocumented parent. Of those kids, 29% live in poverty — nearly double the 16% national child-poverty rate. By and large, these kids are U.S. citizens.
The advocacy group indicates that a path to citizenship would lift 8,000 children in New Jersey out of poverty. Benefits would include success in school; access to critical services (like health and nutrition programs); better physical and mental health; and economic stability. Another benefit would be keeping families together, since the possibility of detention or deportation would be eliminated.