Online Program

Community level psychosocial health effects of immigration home raids: A case study in Washtenaw County

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

William Lopez, PhD, MPH, University of Michigan National Center for Institutional Diversity, Ann Arbor, MI
Laura Sanders, School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Melanie Harner, Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights, MI
Adrienne Waller, Washtenaw County Health Department
Charo Ledon, Community Leader, Ann Arbor, MI
Mikel Llanes, Ypsilanti Health Center
Dan Kruger, PhD, School of Public Health, Prevention Research Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Many Latino/as are members of mixed-status immigrant communities, or communities composed of individuals of all immigration legal statuses. Issues related to immigration thus play a large role in Latino/a health and well-being. The Encuesta Buenos Vecinos, a collaborative survey between Washtenaw County Public Health, Casa Latina, and the University of Michigan, was the first systematic assessment of Latino/a social and health issues in Washtenaw County, MI. Midway through data collection, an immigration home raid occurred in Washtenaw County, providing the opportunity for a natural experiment. We examined survey responses on items related to immigration concerns from those who participated before versus after the raid.

We divided participants whose participation dates could be confirmed into two groups, before (n = 325) vs. after (n = 151) the raid, and compared responses to three items that used a five-option scale (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree): "My legal status has limited contact with my family and friends," “I will be reported to immigration if I go to a social service agency," and "I fear the consequences of deportation." Participants who completed the survey after the raid had significantly greater concerns. These effects were stronger for those who were foreign born and those who had children in their households.

The current study demonstrates the community impact of an immigration home raid on psychosocial concerns using a community-representative sample. Findings suggest that these raids may act as acute reminders to Latino/as in mixed-status communities of their collective legal vulnerabilities, with impacts on community psychosocial health.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain how immigration home raids may affect social service utilization patterns in mixed-status Latino communities.

Keyword(s): Immigrant Health, Social Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The current analysis is based on the first author's on-going dissertation work. I have worked extensively on matters related to immigrant and Latino/a health, and have collaborated closely with the Encuesta Buenos Vecinos survey team, who collected the data in the current study. My interests include how to assess the effects of home raids, as they are unpredictable, and how to disseminate information about their effects in collaboration with community members and organizations.
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.