Coming of Age on the Margins: Mental Health and Wellbeing Among Latino Immigrant Young Adults Eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Report Author: 
Rachel Siemons, Marissa Raymond-Flesh, Colette L. Auerswald, Claire D. Brindis
Original Date of Publication: 
2017 Jun

Undocumented immigrant Latino young adults face discrimination, marginalization, and are restricted from accessing critical resources such as health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Moreover, the fear and stressors associated with the possibility of being deported can affect the mental health and wellbeing (MHWB) of undocumented immigrants. This study aims to assess the effects of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on the MHWB of 61 Latino young adults using the ecological framework. Results from the study demonstrate that having DACA allowed participants to access resources and meet their basic needs as a result of having a work permit. Within the inter-personal level, respondents discussed that while they feel relieved to be able to work and support their family, some also felt the pressure of being the main source of financial dependency. Others delineated that they feel a sense of belonging and self-esteem which helps with their MHWB but worry about the precarious state of DACA and their eligibility to renew every two years. While DACA provides temporary relief for those eligible, the constant threat of the temporality of the policy as well as the exclusion of parents and other family members of DACA recipients need to be addressed by policymakers, researchers, and practitioners to help improve the overall MHWB of all undocumented immigrants. (Immigrant Integration Lab)

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 Mental Health and Wellbeing Among Latino Immigrant Young Adults Eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Citation: 

Siemons, R., Raymond-Flesh, M., Auerswald, C. L., & Brindis, C. D. (2017). Coming of Age on the Margins: Mental Health and Wellbeing Among Latino Immigrant Young Adults Eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 19(3), 543–551. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-016-0354-x

Source Organization: 
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