230692 Immigrant-sensitive health and social services in the aftermath of intensified detention and deportation: Practice and policy recommendations promoting immigrant integration across settings

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 10:45 AM - 11:00 AM

Ester R. Shapiro, PhD , Psychology and Gaston Institute Center, University of Massachusetts at Boston, Boston, MA
Hercilia Corona-Ordoņez, MA , Psychology and Gaston Institute, University of Massachusetts at Boston, Boston, MA
Celeste Atallah-Gutierrez, MS , Mauricio Gaston Institute, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Boston, MA
Darcy Alcantara, BA , Psychology and Gaston Institute, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Boston, MA
Esroruleh Tamim Mohammad, BA , Health Promotion Research Group, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA
U.S. immigrants 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. The current administration has ended massive work-place raids, continuing lower-intensity raids claiming to target criminals when actually 70% of immigrants detained and deported are guilty only of undocumented status. We present results from two qualitative studies exploring Latino/a immigrant responses to increased enforcement, one partnering with a Community-Based Organization engaged in immigrant education on legal and human rights, and one conducted in a new suburban gateway community with isolated mothers. Both studies explored how Latino/a immigrants responded to intensified enforcement, increased fears, and greater barriers to accessing health and human services, identifying both greater vulnerabilities and impressive, creative marshalling of inner strengths and collective resources. Women in suburban gateways were especially vulnerable to exploitation, sharing heart-rending stories of living in hiding and fear while making courageous decisions to protect their children and keep their families from forced separations. We discuss the role of trusted sources of information, networks of mixed status families and communities responding to collective needs in negotiating with officials, and importance of institutional partners in CBO's, schools, and child-centered social service agencies (early intervention, Head Start) in linking immigrants to health and human services. We report on work translating this research into health and human resources planning and policies supporting immigrant personal, family and community development.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Program planning
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
• 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 protecting shared development for immigrant families in the aftermath of detentions and deportations. • Describe features of immigrant-sensitive health and human services reducing isolation and increasing immigrant family integration.

Keywords: Access Immigration, Community-Based Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: conducted research in this area
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.