Online Program

What is the health impact of federal immigration enforcement policy? An examination of deportations under Secure Communities in California

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 1:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Maria-Elena Young, MPH, Department of Community Health Sciences, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health/UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Los Angeles, CA
Background: Evidence suggests that undocumented immigrants and members of mixed-status families experience psychosocial stressors and barriers to health care when federal immigration enforcement policies are implemented in their communities.  The executive action announced by President Obama in November 2014 will shield some immigrants from deportation, but will shift enforcement priorities such that significant levels of deportation will likely continue.  Research is needed to understand the relationship between health and deportations under these policies.  Objective: This study examines the associations between the level of deportations under the Secure Communities (SComm) program and health outcomes among undocumented immigrants and individuals in mixed-status families in California.  Methods: A multi-level data set with health outcomes and rate of deportations in California counties was created and analyzed.  The health outcomes, including indicators of health behaviors, mental health, and access to care, came from the 2011-2012 California Health Interview Survey.  The number of SComm deportations by county, converted into a rate, came from the Department of Homeland Security.  Moderator variables were undocumented status and residence in a mixed status household. Covariates included individual socio-demographic characteristics and county political characteristics.  Hierarchical linear regression models tested the associations between level of deportation and health outcomes by undocumented status and residence in a mix-status household, controlling for covariates.  Results: The rate of deportation varied by county.  Models showed how deportations under SComm are associated with differences in mental health and access to care.  Results provide evidence of the detrimental health impact of ongoing federal immigration enforcement.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify the relationships between rate of deportation and health behaviors, mental health, and access to care outcomes among immigrant populations. Discuss mechanisms by which county-level rate of deportation may affect the health of immigrant communities.

Keyword(s): Immigrant Health, Public Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student whose research is focused on immigration policy and health. I have engaged in extensive research related to the impact of public policies on immigrant health, including enforcement policies.
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.