178433 Farmworkers at US-Mexico Border: Challenges to human rights in a militarized environment

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 3:15 PM

Deborah Jean McClelland, MLS , Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Kathryn Rodriguez , Coalicion de Derechos Humanos, Tucson, AZ
Floribella Redondo , Campesinos Sin Fronteras, Somerton, AZ
Cecilia Rosales, MD, MS , Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Georgina Garcia , Campesinos Sin Fronteras, Somerton, AZ
Maia Ingram, MPH , Deputy Director, Arizona Prevention Research Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Jill Guernsey De Zapien , Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith, JD, MA , Mexican American Studies and Research Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Scott Carvajal, PhD, MPH , Assistant Professor of Mexican American Studies and Public Health, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Anna O'Leary, PhD , Mexican American Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
The University of Arizona College of Public Health collaborated with a grassroots farmworker health promotion organization, Campesinos Sin Fronteras, and a grassroots human rights network, Coalicion de Derechos Humanos, to conduct a comprehensive health survey of farmworkers at the US-Mexico Border and begin addressing public policy based on the findings. Survey instruments included modules on health and human service utilization, and stressors related to border residence. A random household survey of 300 farmworkers living in the study area (average age 44), and a shorter opportunistic survey of 200 employed seasonally in the region (average age 50) were conducted in 2006-2007. Results indicate elevated levels of diabetes and hypertension among men, chronic musculoskeletal complaints, considerable stress related to the changing social environment and seasonal nature of their work, underutilization of public services to which they are entitled, and limited awareness of their rights and options in the event of abuse by immigration law enforcement. The presentation will describe these findings and results of subsequent group interviews exploring study questions in greater depth, particularly regarding stress and depression, and the shifting presence of immigration law enforcement and military entities at the border. Discussion will also cover the outcomes of community forums and educational sessions held in the study municipalities to disseminate survey results and engage community members to join the project in informing farmworkers and their families of their rights under shifting immigration law, and to develop a large-scale policy intervention addressing these diverse issues for this vulnerable population of workers.

Learning Objectives:
participants will be able to identify hightened border and immigration law enforcement effect on farmworkers health and service utilization; recognize unique challenges to basic rights faced by farmworkers at the border; describe effective strategies to apprise farmworker communities of their rights; and discuss effects of changing immigration law enforcement practices and anti-immigrant legislation on immigrant agricultural workers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am coordinating this research project
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.