203014 Collaborative Research with Immigrant Community Organizations: Promoting Positive Personal and Community Development in Responding to Intensified Detentions and Deportations

Monday, November 9, 2009: 2:30 PM

Ester R. Shapiro, PhD , Psychology and HORIZON Center, University of Massachusetts at Boston, Boston, MA
Hercilia Corona-Ordoñez, 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 families with mixed citizenship status, who are less likely to use health and social service resources (Capp et al, 2006) due to social and economic barriers, failed immigration policies, and increased detentions and deportations by post-Patriot Act Immigration and Customs Enforcement within Homeland Security. Continuing failure to implement immigration policy on a national level has left local communities struggling to support immigrant families. This paper applies transnational perspectives on gender justice, citizen participation, mental health and human rights to identify linked processes of personal, family and community empowerment protecting immigrant wellness in response to intensified ICE enforcement in immigrant communities. The paper describes a research partnership between a Latino policy research institute at a public university and Latino Community Based Organizations concerned with the impact of intensified ICE enforcement on the mental health and resource use of immigrant communities. We present results from two qualitative research projects exploring immigrant responses to anti-immigrant sentiment and increased enforcement. We 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 analyze strategies that helped members of affected immigrant communities mobilize psychological and social supports while linking them with political participation and advocacy for immigration policy emphasizing human rights and resource rights. We report on our work with CBO's in translating this research into mental health resources planning supporting individual, family and community development.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the impact of U.S. immigration policy on immigrant individuals in a family and community context. Identify characteristics of mixed status immigrant families and barriers to their use of health care and community resources. Describe a collaborative process in designing mental health resources planning based on this research

Keywords: Immigrants, Access and Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Have published and presented research on immigrant women and families
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.