Addressing the impact of local immigration enforcement policies on health service access and utilization among Latinos in North Carolina: A community and public health approach
Methods: We partnered with local organizations to organize six Spanish-language community report-backs and three bilingual forums for community members and public health leaders throughout NC designed to raise consciousness and critically reflect upon the impact of immigration enforcement on Latino health and to develop recommended action steps using an empowerment theory-based discussion process.
Results: 344 people representing 16 NC counties participated in the report-backs and forums. Participants included community members, public health personnel, other service providers, and academic institution representatives. Eight recommendations emerged, including educating Latino communities about healthcare rights and resources; implementing system-level changes among healthcareproviders and schools; working with lay health advisors to help navigate systems; sharing Latino community members’ experiences with policymakers; reducing transportation barriers (e.g., increasing access to driver's licenses); and increasing collaboration among community members, organizations, and researchers.
Conclusions: There is a need to address immigration enforcement as a public health issue. The report-backs and forums encouraged community dialogue that led to innovative recommendations. Participants articulated the need to develop new partnerships, identify evidence-based strategies, and implement action steps to reduce barriers to healthcare access and utilization.
Learning Areas:Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Describe the impact of local immigration enforcement policies such as the 287(g) and Secure Communities programs on the health of Latino communities. Name potential approaches to reduce barriers to health care access and utilization related to immigration enforcement.
Keyword(s): Access Immigration, Latinos
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am part of a team that conducts community-based participatory research to explore health needs and priorities and develop, implement, and evaluate health promotion interventions with Latino communities in North Carolina.
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.