The impact of Immigration and Customs Enforcement on immigrant health: Perceptions of immigrants in Everett, Massachusetts, USA
U.S. immigrants have faced a changing landscape with regard to immigration enforcement over the last two decades. Following the passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, and the creation of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency after the attacks of September 11, 2001, detention and deportation activity increased substantially. As a result, immigrants today are experiencing heightened fear of profiling and deportation. Little research exists on how these activities affect the health and well-being of U.S. immigrant communities. This study sought to address this gap by using community-based participatory research to investigate the impact of enhanced immigration enforcement on immigrant health in Everett, Massachusetts, USA, a city with a large and diverse immigrant population. Community partners and researchers conducted 6 focus groups with 52 immigrant participants (documented and undocumented) in five languages in May 2009. The major themes across the groups included: 1) Fear of deportation, 2) Fear of collaboration between local law enforcement and ICE and perception of arbitrariness on the part of the former and 3) Concerns about not being able to furnish documentation required to apply for insurance and for health care. Documented and undocumented immigrants reported high levels of stress due to deportation fear, which affected their emotional well-being and their access to health services. Recommendations from the focus groups included improving relationships between immigrants and local police, educating immigrants on their rights and responsibilities as residents, and holding sessions to improve civic engagement. Immigration enforcement activities and the resulting deportation fear are contextual factors that undermine trust in community institutions and social capital, with implications for health and effective integration processes. These factors should be considered by any community seeking to improve the integration process.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 73 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Viruell-Fuentes, Edna A., 2007. "Beyond acculturation: Immigration, discrimination, and health research among Mexicans in the United States," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(7), pages 1524-1535, October.
- Miller, Kenneth E. & Rasmussen, Andrew, 2010. "War exposure, daily stressors, and mental health in conflict and post-conflict settings: Bridging the divide between trauma-focused and psychosocial frameworks," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 7-16, January.
- Carpiano, Richard M., 2006. "Toward a neighborhood resource-based theory of social capital for health: Can Bourdieu and sociology help?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 165-175, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:4:p:586-594. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.