270865 Immigrant-Sensitive Services Promoting Wellness in Anti-immigrant Times: Recommendations from Community-Based Research and Practice Partnerships

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 1:30 PM - 1:50 PM

Ester R. Shapiro, PhD , Psychology and Gaston Institute Center, University of Massachusetts at Boston, Boston, MA
Celeste Atallah-Gutiérrez, PhD , Mauricio Gaston Institute, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Boston, MA
Hercilia Corona-Ordoñez, MA , Psychology and Gaston Institute, University of Massachusetts at Boston, Boston, MA
Darcy Alcantara, BA , Psychology and Gaston Institute, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Boston, MA
Tariana Little, BA , Gaston Institute, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA
Latino immigrants are more likely to live in families with mixed documentation status, greatly impacting access to health resources (Orozco et al, 2012; Capp et al, 2006) in contexts of social and economic barriers, failed immigration policies, and increased detentions/deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement within Homeland Security. This paper offers culturally, developmentally and sociopolitically informed ecosystemic understandings of Wellness as rooted in social justice, (Prilleltensky, 2012; Shapiro and Atallah-Gutierrez, 2012) applying this approach to immigrant-sensitive health promotion through community-based research/practice partnerships conducted within the Mauricio Gaston Institute, a Latino Research Center partnering with Community-Based Organizations (CBO's) and Latino and immigrant service providers. Following New Bedford massive work-place raids (2007), CBO's gathered to develop local and state-wide responses. We partnered with a local CBO engaged in immigrant education on legal and human rights toward creating a humanitarian crisis response plan, and with MA Department of Child and Family Services (Padilla et al, 2008), using participatory research to develop immigrant-sensitive practice recommendations. Three qualitative studies explored how Latino/a youth, adults, and mothers respond to intensified enforcement, finding that trusted Community-Based Organizations and informed providers make the difference between individuals living in isolation and fear and communities living with hope and solidarity in striving toward wellness. This research identified both greater life-course specific vulnerabilities and impressive, creative marshalling of inner strengths and collective resources among immigrants responding to anti-immigrant times across settings. We report on recommendations for enhancing immigrant-sensitive practices and policies supporting personal, family and community development and wellness.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
• Recognize impacts of failed U.S. immigration policies and anti-immigrant times on Latinos in family and community contexts across the life course. • Apply a culturally, developmentally and socio-politically informed ecological, participatory approach in identifying personal, relational and community resources protecting shared development for Latino and immigrant families in the aftermath of detentions and deportations. • Describe features of immigrant-sensitive health and human services reducing isolation and increasing immigrant family development and wellness.

Keywords: Latino Health, Immigrants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I present and publish research and practice in the area of Latino/immigrant wellness
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.