Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Child Health in Mixed-Status Latino Families: How Immigration Policy Impacts Child Health

Saturday, November 14, 2015 : 2:25 PM
Stanford (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Edward D. Vargas, University of Wisconsin – Madison and Vickie Ybarra, University of New Mexico
Stuck in between partisan politics and government inaction on comprehensive immigration reform are a sizeable number of mixed-status families, in which some family members are U.S. citizens and other members are non-citizens.  In this manuscript, we examine how immigration policy is impacting Latino children in mixed-status families.  Using a groundbreaking survey sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico (n=1,493), we asked adults about their perceptions of immigration policy and their child’s health using the standard self-rated health measure.  We estimated a series of logistic regressions to understand how Latino parents’ perceptions of immigration policy are associated with their child’s mental health outcomes.  Preliminary findings show that mixed-status families report worse child health outcomes than non-mixed-status families.  We also find that respondents who report anti-immigrant sentiment also exhibit worse health outcomes.  These findings suggest that Latinos views of immigration climate are impacting Latino health and mixed-status families are particularly vulnerable.  The implications of this work are significant for policy makers, health service providers and researchers interested in reducing health disparities among Latino families.