20 June 2024
Latino distress in the United States: Deportation threat looms

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Understanding the Latino Distress in the United States

The social and political landscape of the United States has been undergoing significant changes between 2011 and 2018, with events such as DACA rule changes, shifts in presidential leadership, and new immigration bills. These changes have led to a looming threat of deportation for many individuals, particularly impacting the mental health of Latino immigrants in the country.

Research Reveals Worsening Psychological Distress Among Latinos

Recent research conducted by Amy Johnson, an assistant professor of sociology at Lehigh University, along with a team of collaborators, has shed light on the increasing psychological distress among Latinos in the U.S. from 2011 to 2018. The study titled “Deportation threat predicts Latino US citizens and noncitizens’ psychological distress, 2011 to 2018” explores how various events and policies have influenced the well-being of both citizens and noncitizens within the Latino community.

The findings of the research indicate that the threat of deportation has had a significant impact on the mental health of Latinos, irrespective of their citizenship status. While initiatives like DACA provided temporary relief for some undocumented immigrants, the Trump presidency and changes in immigration enforcement policies triggered anxiety and depressive symptoms among Latino noncitizens, exacerbating their distress.

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The Impact of Political Events on Psychological Well-being

The study highlights that the effects of political events extend beyond just federal policies and presidential elections. Day-to-day interactions and conversations about immigration and deportation, including actions like ICE detainer requests and online discussions, also play a crucial role in shaping psychological distress among Latinos. Additionally, U.S.-born Latinos, although not at risk of deportation, experience heightened distress during periods of increased attention to deportation-related topics, as evidenced by Google search trends.

The research underscores the pervasive nature of the deportation threat on the psychological health of Latinos across all citizenship statuses. It reveals that the feeling of being targeted for deportation negatively impacts the well-being of individuals within the community, with the specific pathways of distress varying based on citizenship status.

Addressing Latino Distress: Policy and Cultural Solutions

As the U.S. heads into a highly polarizing 2024 election year, it is crucial to consider strategies beyond federal policy changes to alleviate Latino distress. While advocating for shifts in deportation-focused immigration approaches is essential, the researchers emphasize the importance of fostering cultural practices of inclusion and belonging. Creating a sense of cultural belonging can help mitigate the psychological damage caused by the deportation threat, even among U.S. citizens within the Latino community.

The study highlights the urgent need to address the worsening distress among Latinos in the United States, emphasizing the complex interplay between political events, immigration policies, and psychological well-being. By recognizing the psychological toll of deportation threats and promoting cultural practices that foster inclusion, efforts can be made to support the mental health and resilience of Latino individuals across the country.

Links to additional Resources:

1. Pew Research Center 2. Migration Policy Institute 3. Center for American Progress

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Latino distress in the United States, Amy Johnson (sociologist), Immigration policies in the United States

Hispanic and Latino Americans
Hispanic and Latino Americans (Spanish: Estadounidenses hispanos y latinos; Portuguese: Estadunidenses hispânicos e latinos) are Americans of Spanish and/or Latin American ancestry. These demographics include all Americans who identify as Hispanic or Latino regardless of ancestry. As of 2020, the Census Bureau estimated that there were almost 65.3 million Hispanics...
Read more: Hispanic and Latino Americans

Allan G. Johnson
Allan G. Johnson (1946–2017) was an American writer and public speaker who worked in the fields of sociology and gender studies. One of his nonfiction works is The Gender Knot: Unraveling our Patriarchal Legacy, about the detrimental effects of the patriarchy. He died of lymphoma.
Read more: Allan G. Johnson

Immigration policy of the United States
Federal policy oversees and regulates immigration to the United States and citizenship of the United States. The United States Congress has authority over immigration policy in the United States, and it delegates enforcement to the Department of Homeland Security. Historically, the United States went through a period of loose immigration...
Read more: Immigration policy of the United States

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