Health and Mental Health Effects of Local Immigration Enforcement

49 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2018

See all articles by Julia Shu-Huah Wang

Julia Shu-Huah Wang

Columbia University

Neeraj Kaushal

Columbia University - School of Social Work; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 2018

Abstract

We study the effect of two local immigration enforcement policies – Section 287(g) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act and the Secure Communities Program (SC) – that have escalated fear and risk of deportation among the undocumented on the health and mental health outcomes of Latino immigrants living in the United States. We use the restricted-use National Health Interview Survey for 2000-2012 and adopt a difference-in-difference research design. Estimates suggest that SC increased the proportion of Latino immigrants with mental health distress by 2.2 percentage points (14.7 percent); Task Force Enforcement under Section 287(g) worsened their mental health distress scores by 15 percent (0.08 standard deviation); Jail Enforcement under Section 287(g) increased the proportion of Latino immigrants reporting fair or poor health by 1 percentage point (11.1 percent) and lowered the proportion reporting very good or excellent health by 4.8 to 7.0 percentage points (7.8 to 10.9 percent). These findings are robust across various sensitivity checks.

Suggested Citation

Wang, Julia Shu-Huah and Kaushal, Neeraj, Health and Mental Health Effects of Local Immigration Enforcement (April 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24487, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3158927

Julia Shu-Huah Wang (Contact Author)

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Neeraj Kaushal

Columbia University - School of Social Work ( email )

622 W. 113th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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