184577 Promoting immigrant family resources for resilience in the aftermath of detentions and deportations

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ester R. Shapiro, PhD , Psychology and HORIZON Center, University of Massachusetts at Boston, Boston, MA
Hercilia Corona-Ordoņez, MA , Psychology and Gaston Institute, University of Massachusetts at Boston, Boston, MA
Devin Atallah-Gutierrez, MA , Psychology and Gaston Institute, University of Massachusetts at Boston, Boston, MA
U.S. immigration is increasingly characterized by a growing number of women, children and families living without legal documentation or in families with mixed citizenship status. Adults and children in these families are less likely to use health and social service resources (Capp et al, 2006). Subsequent to the 2003 Patriot Act, Immigration and Naturalization Services merged into a new Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement within Homeland Security, which has significantly increased detentions and deportations. Failure to implement immigration policy on a national level has left local communities struggling to support immigrant families. This presentation will describe how a specific immigrant-receiving urban community in Massachusetts responded to the humanitarian crisis precipitated by raids and detentions. We will apply an ecosystemic, participatory approach to identify vulnerabilities experienced by immigrant families in the aftermath of detentions and deportations, and their culturally meaningful strategies for mobilizing personal, familial and community resources for resilience. We will present data from ethnographic observation and interviews with community leaders and immigrant women to document how women, families and communities responded to protect the health and mental health of immigrant communities. Using transnational perspectives on gender justice, citizen participation, mental health and human rights, we will analyze strategies that helped this community mobilize psychological and social supports while linking them with political participation and advocacy for immigration policy emphasizing human rights and resource rights. The presentation will emphasize the unique role of Community Based Organizations and Coalitions in re-building immigrant family resources for empowerment and resilience.

Learning Objectives:
Identify characteristics of mixed status immigrant families and barriers to their use of health care and community resources. Recognize the impact of U.S. immigration policy on immigrant individuals in a family and community context. Apply an ecological, participatory approach in identifying personal, relational and community resources promoting resilience for immigrant families in the aftermath of detentions and deportations.

Keywords: Immigrants, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered