When the American Dream Becomes a Nightmare: Health Implications of Intensified Immigration Enforcement

Susan L. Averett , Lafayette College
Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, San Diego State University
Mehmet Yaya, Eastern Michigan University

We combine micro-level data from the 1999 through 2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), with local and state-level data on the implementation of immigration enforcement measures, to examine the impact of the latter on the mental and physical health of Hispanic non-citizen adult immigrants and their children. First, we examine changes in the health of adult Hispanic non-citizen immigrants, comparing them to the changes experienced by naturalized immigrants before and after the implementation of more stringent immigration enforcement measures. Subsequently, we repeat the analysis focusing on their children and comparing changes in their health following the intensification of immigration enforcement to the changes experienced by their counterparts with naturalized parents. Our preliminary findings, which prove robust to various identification and robustness checks, reveal that interior enforcement has had some negative effects on the health of non-citizen immigrants and their children.

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 Presented in Session 162. Immigration Policy and Immigrant Well-being