The outcomes of changes in immigration policy on health results with undocumented immigrants are not well understood

The outcomes of changes in immigration policy on health results with undocumented immigrants are not well understood. Aiming to observe the physical and mental health consequences of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a 2012 US immigration policy that provides renewable work permits and openness from deportation for an enormous number of undocumented immigrants (). Economic opportunities and protection from deportation for undocumented immigrants, as offered by DACA, could present large mental health aids to such entities (). Health concerns should be considered by researchers and policy makers in evaluations of the broader welfare effects of immigration policy. Undocumented migration has developed into an important public policy matter worldwide. From a public health perspective, it is well acknowledged that the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the USA and 8 million in Europe are at risk of poor health effects (). In particular, the consequences of studies from mutually the USA and European backgrounds suggest that immigration policies that raise the risk of deportation or place restrictions on legal rights and access to social services influence the increased risk of poor mental health results, such as depression and anxiety, and restrains access to health care more generally ().
Many undocumented young adults reach the United States as children and grow up ignorant of their immigration status. However, once they become abreast, they face fewer educational and work opportunities than US citizens and documented immigrants and frequently live with anxiety of deportation for themselves and their relatives. Undocumented young adults are ineligible for federal financial aid for higher education, and, in most states, cannot apply for a driver’s license, open a bank account, apply for a credit card and other independent life needs. In addition, only 60% of undocumented immigrants complete high school compared with 92% of US-born young adults; only a quarter of these immigrants will complete college compared with 61% of US-born adults (). Although data on undocumented young adults are not extensively accessible, studies of the undocumented population have disclosed that these immigrants have relatively high rates of uninsured status and deprived access to health care.
Although DACA allows these young adults to seek legal employment opportunities, their access to health care remains inadequate. Although the Affordable Care Act will make health care coverage accessible to an estimated 32 million US citizens, the Obama Administration publicized in August 2012 that DACA recipients, like other undocumented populations, will be ineligible for extended federal Medicaid coverage and striped from obtaining insurance through the State Health Insurance Exchanges, even without federal supports. DACA-eligible young adults stated that for all but the most serious health care needs, they avoided health care completely or gotten care outside of mainstream medicine.
Mental health issues DACA youth experience, include depression, anxiety, and trauma, as well as the challenges of obtaining health care in the context of their relatives and neighborhoods, where scarce financial support place medical and mental health needs beneath food, shelter, and education. DACA-eligible young adults emphasized that they lack opportunities to learn how to navigate and utilize health care and remain skeptical of the motives and financial advances of providers. The gap amongst DACA-eligible young adults and potential health care providers is constantly increased by system obstacles such as long wait times and encounters determining eligibility for services. Finally, with or without DACA, youth often reported a hesitation to interact with the health care system for fear that any health concern or medical debt might hinder their ability to increase or maintain legal immigration significance.
The domino effects of immigration enforcement on the lives of citizen and undocumented children in the United States (U.S.) continues to stay hidden. A community-based participatory study revealed that many of these children experience extensive mental health problems (). If immigration policies in the U.S. do not adjust, millions of children will remain to suffer from their unmet mental health necessities. These unmet mental health complications are likely to affect them into adulthood and put them at risk for a human and economic cost for them.
As social workers, we are aware that anything that threatens the well-being and livelihood of our communities and clients, it develops into an issue that impacts our occupation and our country. As our National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics suggests, the main mission of our profession as social workers is to improve the human well-being of all, assist clients in meeting basic needs and to empower our clients. When in this career, social workers are obligated to sustain a core set of values of service, social justice, dignity and worth of the client, significance of human connections, and honesty which are the foundation the code of ethics is created upon. Protecting and assisting the dreamers and delivering them opportunities they have deserved is more than an immigration concern, it’s a human issue, a health and mental health issue. Direct care providers have seen an increase in anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.