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Nearly 1 in 4 US children has at least one immigrant parent, according to new study

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A new study shows that nearly 20 million U.S. children in 2016 have at least one parent who was born outside the country. (David McNew/Getty Images)

About 1 in 4 (or about 20 million) children living in the U.S. in 2016 had at least one immigrant parent, according to a study released Wednesday by the Kaiser Foundation. Of those, nearly 90 percent are U.S. citizens.

The research also showed that more than 8 million children with at least one immigrant parent received health benefits through programs such as Medicaid or Children's Health Insurance Program. Government health programs provide access to preventive and primary care, as well as care for chronic illnesses for low-income families.

The Kaiser study said that immigration enforcement policies increased fear in immigrant families including those with legal status. That fear has caused decreased participation in the health programs, the report said.

"[F]indings point to both short- and long-term negative consequences on the health and well-being of children in immigrant families," the report said. It would also have a negative impact on the financial stability of immigrant families, including "the growth and healthy development of their children."

Children with U.S.-born parents are more likely to have health insurance, the report said.

What are the numbers?

During 2016, approximately 78.2 million children lived in the U.S., according to the report. Of those, 19.8 million had at least one immigrant parent. Of those, 89 percent are U.S.-born citizens, the report said.

And more than half of the children with at least one immigrant parent live in four states: 23 percent in California; 13 percent in Texas; 8 percent in New York; and 8 percent in Florida.

About 6 million children were living in the U.S. illegally in 2016, the report said.

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