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

Panel Paper: Latino's Connections to Immigrants: How Knowing a Deportee Impacts Latino Health

Saturday, November 14, 2015 : 10:15 AM
Stanford (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Maria Livaudais1,2, Edward D. Vargas3, Gabriel Sanchez2 and Melina Juarez2, (1)University of New Mexico, (2)Robert Wood Johnson Center for Health Policy, (3)University of Wisconsin – Madison
As attempts for comprehensive immigration reform continue to fail, Latinos remain in flux with mixed status families and communities becoming more prominent. It is estimated that 61 percent of Latinos, regardless of citizenship status, report knowing someone who is undocumented. Additionally, 36 percent of Latinos know someone who has been detained and/or deported, while 46 percent worry that a friend or family member will be detained or deported due to their immigration status. Little attention, however, has focused on how Latino’s personal connections to immigrants are impacting their health. This manuscript examines how knowing a deportee and/or undocumented immigrant affects the physical and mental health of Latino/as.  Utilizing a groundbreaking survey sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico (n=1,493), we estimate a series of ordered logistic and logistic regressions to understand how personal connections to immigrants are affecting the health of Latinos.  Our modeling approach takes into consideration the socio-political, familial, cultural, and personal contexts that make up the Latina/o experience which is widely overlooked in datasets that treat Latinos as a homogenous ethnic group.  Preliminary findings suggest that knowing a deportee increases the probability of reporting poor health, holding all else constant.  We also find that knowing a deportee increases the odds of having to seek help for mental health problems.  The implication and significance of this work has tremendous impacts for policy makers, health service providers and researchers interested in reducing health disparities among minority populations.