Invisible Lives and Hidden Realities of Undocumented Youth


  • Faria Kamal University of Toronto
  • Kyle D. Killian Capella University, Minneapolis, Minnesota



Canada, immigration status, undocumented youth, non-status immigrants, adolescents, mental health, fear


This qualitative study explored the lived experiences of undocumented youth and the mental health impacts of living in daily fear of detention and deportation. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted to examine the repercussions of living without immigration status, and the descriptive data were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Results indicate that lack of immigration status is associated with mental health issues, particularly anxiety. Absence of immigration status is implicated as a decisive social factor influencing individuals’ mental and social well-being.


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How to Cite

Kamal, F., & Killian, K. D. (2015). Invisible Lives and Hidden Realities of Undocumented Youth. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 31(2), 63–74.

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