Study Reveals that Latino Parents are Stressed out over Immigration Policy
According to a study by the Journal of Adolescent Health, even Latino U.S. citizens are experiencing high levels of anxiety and distress over the current immigration debate. The study might even be one of the first to quantify just how traumatizing recent events have been for some Latino parents, regardless of their immigration status. Researchers at George Washington University (GWU) in D.C. surveyed over 200 Latino parents living in a largely Latino suburban community nearby during the fall of 2017. From the parents surveyed, a third of them were undocumented, while the rest were either permanent residents, temporarily protected through programs such as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, or U.S. citizens. Lead author Kathleen Roche, a public health researcher at GWU, told Gizmodo the following:
We weren’t surprised that there were harmful impacts of the immigration climate on undocumented parents, but we were very struck by the negative impacts on Latino parents living in the U.S. legally. Across all 200 parents in the study, two-thirds reported that they very often or always worried about separation of family members due to immigrant action. And almost half frequently warned their children to stay away from authorities; talked to their children about changing behaviors, such as where they hang out after school; frequently avoided getting help from the police or getting medical care and food assistance; and worried about their child being able to finish high school and eventually get a job.
During the survey, bilingual interviewers asked the parents about how affected they were by news stories and actions taken by the Trump administration that involved immigration and whether they changed their behavior in response; and how psychologically distressed they felt overall. It’s important to note that the parents surveyed all had teens living in their households, the majority of whom were U.S. citizens, while the remaining were either DACA recipients or eligible to be protected. The study revealed that U.S. citizens and permanent residents were less likely to feel frightened by immigration rhetoric, while temporarily protected parents felt just as vulnerable as undocumented parents. The study was very interesting and shed some light on a topic that is often overlooked or not known about. The study can definitely be applied to California, which has a much larger Latino population.