Tuesday, June 25, 2019
President Trump long has directed harsh words and policies at immigrants. Consider his threat of mass deportations last week. Such rhetoric has impacts, threatens and scares immigrants. Fear understandably has increased among many immigrant, Latinx, and Asian students on college campuses.
The rise of anti-immigration rhetoric and policies in the United States in the wake of the 2016 elections may be taking its toll on the health of California’s Latinx youth, including those who are U.S. citizens. These are the findings of a new study led by University of California, Berkeley, researchers.
The study tracked the mental and physical health of U.S.-born children of Mexican and Central American immigrants in California in the years before and after the 2016 election. It also asked about their sleep quality and their degree of worry about the personal consequences of U.S immigration policies.
Nearly half of the youth reported worrying at least sometimes about the impacts of U.S. immigration policy on their families. Those with more worries also experienced higher anxiety and poorer sleep quality than their peers.
When the researchers compared the youth’s well-being before and after the election, they found that anxiety symptoms increased more markedly among individuals who reported more worry about immigration policies.
The paper describing the results of the study appears in the June 24 in the Journal of the American Medical Association: Pediatrics. Here the "Conclusions and Relevance" from the Abstract:
"Fear and worry about the personal consequences of current US immigration policy and rhetoric appear to be associated with higher anxiety levels, sleep problems, and blood pressure changes among US-born Latino adolescents; anxiety significantly increased after the 2016 presidential election."