The mental health of the Latinx community has suffered incredibly since the election of President Donald Trump. Numerous studies have shown that their mental health has declined, and their overall perception of their life in the U.S. has worsened. Now new research indicates that there is a link between the adverse mental health of Latinx and immigration raids.
The study conducted by the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City show surveyed Latinx in the U.S. between 2014 to 2018. Their results showed that as the government increased immigration policies, including the ICE raids, the Muslim travel ban, and the detainment of children at the border, the mental health of Latinx deteriorated.
Some of the results show that when individual states saw an increase in ICE raids or detainments, Latinx in that state showed a decline in their mental health.
According to Reuters, “When researchers looked only at the 2017 shift in immigration policies, they didn’t find these policies to be associated with changes in mental health. But when they looked at both the 2017 policy shifts and changes in arrest rates, they found states that had bigger spikes in arrest rates also had larger increases in the number of poor mental health days. These states also had bigger increases in the proportion of people reporting any days of poor mental health or frequent mental distress.”
Emilie Bruzelius, one of the authors of the study, told Reuters that their purpose of the study was foremost to track the reasoning behind the negative mental health outcome.
“Given that immigration policy continues to be a deeply contested topic, ensuring that the health and social consequences of aggressive enforcement are identified and acknowledged within national debates is a key priority,” Bruzelius said.
It’s important to note that the decline in mental health not only affects undocumented Latinx but also U.S.-born Latinx. The distress among the community is palpable, which is why numerous studies show the same results. Other studies include a lack of sleep, a rise in anxiety, and other mental health issues.
This summer, the Washington Post published a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that showed Trump’s presidency was making Latinx sick. One indication that proved this result was in pregnant Latinas. The report showed that, more often than not, Latinas were giving birth before their due date.
“The study on premature births, published in the American Medical Association’s JAMA Network Open, analyzed nearly 33 million births from 2009 to 2017 and determined that there were 3 percent more preterm births than expected among Latina women in the nine months after the election,” the Post reports.