Immigration Enforcement Policies and Immigrants’ Health Care Utilization: Evidence of System Avoidance

Molly Dondero , American University

This study uses data from the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation to examine the association between restrictive state-level immigration enforcement policies and health care utilization among immigrant adults in the United States. The findings show that restrictive immigration enforcement policies are associated with lower odds of seeking medical and dental care, even when accounting for individual-level demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, citizenship, health status, and inclusionary state-level immigration policies that extend eligibility to immigrants for public benefits. Results support the notion that immigration enforcement is associated with system avoidance on the part of immigrants in ways that can have negative consequences for their health and well-being.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session 7. Migration & Urbanization