Researchers Study Human Cost Of Immigration Policy

By Jimmy Jenkins
Published: Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 5:42pm
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The economic factors of immigration have been studied. But researchers are now looking at the human cost of immigration policy on undocumented immigrants and their families.

Researchers gathered information through surveys, interviews and focus groups from more that 400 immigrants. They looked at how being detained by immigration authorities, fearing deportation or seeing a family member deported impacts mental health.

David Becerra is a professor in Arizona State University’s School of Social Work. He says researchers found undocumented immigrants are three to six times more likely to suffer from depression, stress and anxiety.

“Their mental-health issues go untreated, which then negatively impact the U.S.-born kids," Becerra said. "So then it impacts their academic achievement, and it impacts their own mental-health issues.”

Becerra says both direct and indirect results of these impacts are then passed on to society.

The data was collected in 2015 and 2016, and Becerra thinks the presidential election probably served to exacerbate the conditions.