Welcoming Afghan Arrivals

There are roughly 53,000 Afghans in military bases across the U.S., another 14,000 more expected to arrive from military bases overseas, including children in family units and unaccompanied children. Currently only Hawaii, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming and the District of Columbia are not expected to resettle anyone.

We have assembled resources to help pediatricians who care for Afghan children and families.

Learn more


Immigrant Child Health Overview  

Immigrant families are racially and ethnically diverse, and immigrate for variety of reasons that may include seeking economic opportunity, reuniting with family, fleeing war or violence. 

Pediatricians can play a special role in supporting the health and well-being of immigrant children in the United States. By recognizing the unique challenges and strengths that many immigrants experience; pediatricians can identify effective practice strategies and relevant resources that support health within the community.


AAP Recommendations

The AAP provides recommendations and guidelines to support pediatricians caring for immigrant children, youth and families. 


Children in Immigrant Families: Key Facts

Definitions and Demographics 

Children in immigrant families (CIF) are defined as children who are either foreign-born or have at least 1 parent who is foreign-born. Immigrant children are those born outside the United States to non-US citizen parents. One in every 4 children in the United States are CIF, representing a growing and ever more diverse US demographic that pediatric medical providers nationwide will increasingly encounter in clinical care. Immigrant children and CIF reside in all 50 states. 

 ​Access to Health Care and Health Status 

  • CIF are less likely to have a usual source of medical care and to obtain specialty care when needed. 
  • CIF who are foreign-born may not have received adequate screenings or immunizations in their home country. 

Socioeconomic Factors 

  • CIF can face barriers to accessing programs and benefits that support low income children. 
  • Many CIF have less access to quality early education programs and are less likely to be enrolled in preschool programs, such as Head Start. 

 Unique Stressors/Family Separation 

  • Many CIF live in a family with a parent who faces the threat of deportation without notice or preparation. 
  • Children whose parents have been taken into custody/deported may demonstrate a number of health problems including anxiety, depression, poor school performance, sleeping and eating disruptions. 
  • Forced separations due to immigration enforcement can also result in the loss of family income and have been shown to result in family housing and food instability. 
  • Children who have crossed the border to enter the United States as well as children who are refugees may have experienced abuse, exploitation, and/ serious trauma. 


Professional Tools and Resources

The following resources are designed to help you care for immigrant children.

Immigrant Child Health Advocacy Initiatives

The AAP has been a leading voice speaking out against policies that are detrimental to immigrant children's health.

Podcasts and Voices Blogs

Learn what others are saying. Listen to our podcasts and read our blog posts.

Caring for Gender-Diverse Youth, Identifying Developmental Delays in Refugee Children – Episode 65

Hosts David Hill, MD, FAAP, and Joanna Parga-Belinkie, MD, FAAP, talk to Rebecca Scharf, MD, MPH, about her article in the journal Pediatrics focusing on developmental delays in children coming to the United States as refugees.

Pediatrics on Call


June 8, 2021

Last Updated



American Academy of Pediatrics