Human Services

Building a Second Wall: USCIS Backlogs Preventing Immigrants from Becoming Citizens

Report Author: 
Emily Gelbaum
Original Date of Publication: 
2017 Oct

Green card holders have applied for citizenship in record numbers since 2015. In the last two years, some 2 million immigrants have applied for citizenship. During this same period, backlogs in processing applications have soared from 399,397 to 708,638, leading to wait times of one year or more and creating a "second wall" to citizenship. In this report, Emily Gelbaum from the National Partnership for New Americans points out that this backlog prevents immigrants from accessing the full benefits of U.S. citizenship, including the right to vote.

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Immigration Equity's Last Stand: Sanctuaries & Legitimacy in an Era of Mass Immigration Enforcement,

Report Author: 
Jason A. Cade
Original Date of Publication: 
2017 Oct

When Congress in the mid-nineties removed the immigration court system from any role in reviewing deportation orders, it unintentionally created a vacuum in the justice system filled by the sanctuary movement. In this article, Professor Jason A.

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Understanding "Sanctuary Cities"

Report Author: 
Christopher N. Lasch et al
Original Date of Publication: 
2017 May

Produced by a group of law professors interested in the intersection of immigration enforcement and criminal law, this article asserts that "sanctuary" jurisdictions are following policies "informed by sound legal principles and considered policy judgments about how local resources should be used." The "Trump administration's reliance on white nationalist themes" and the false characterization of "sanctuary cities" as propagating immigrant crime have also raised concerns about discriminatory intent in the administration of immigration law and have forced local authorities to articulate thei

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Dreams deferred: Contextualizing the health and psychosocial needs of undocumented Asian and Pacific Islander young adults in Northern California

Report Author: 
Sudhinarase, M., Ling, I., To, T. M., Melo, J., & Quach, T.
Original Date of Publication: 
2017 Jul

While Latinos comprise the largest population of undocumented immigrants in the country, Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) are the fastest growing immigrant population in the U.S. and account for 1.5 million of the total 11.2 undocumented immigrants. The literature show that API immigrants, in general, are less likely to seek for mental health services. Moreover, there is little information on the psychosocial needs of undocumented APIs. Thus, this study uses the social capital theory to examine the psychosocial needs and health status of undocumented API young adults.

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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.

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Racism, the immigration enforcement regime, and the implications for racial inequality in the lives of undocumented young adults

Report Author: 
Aranda, E., & Vaquera, E.
Original Date of Publication: 
2015 Jan

Despite the fact that living without legal documentation in the U.S. is considered a civil offense, undocumented immigrants are often depicted and treated as criminals. As a result, undocumented immigrants are subjected to policing and disciplining, such as detainment and use of ankle monitoring device, that are reserved for people who commit serious criminal offenses. Moreover, during President Barrack Obama's presidency, mass deportation reached an all-time high that only sustained the fears and anxiety of undocumented immigrants.

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The impact of immigration and customs enforcement on immigrant health: Perceptions of immigrants in Everett, Massachusetts, USA

Report Author: 
Hacker, K., Chu, J., Leung, C., Marra, R., Pirie, A., Brahimi, M., Marlin, R. P.
Original Date of Publication: 
2011 Aug

A series of focus groups were conducted in Everett, MA - a community with a sizeable foreign-born population - and were offered in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Arabic, and English for immigrants of other backgrounds. Documented (37%) and undocumented (63%) participants across all the focus groups described living with a constant fear of deportation, either for themselves or their loved ones.

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Multi-tier mental health program for refugee youth

Report Author: 
Ellis, B.H., Miller, A.B., Abdi, S., Barrett, C., Blood, E.A., & Betancourt, T.S.
Original Date of Publication: 
2013 Feb

The research literature indicates that a lack of resources has a significant impact on the overall psychosocial well-being of refugee youth, perhaps playing an even larger role in predicting psychological distress than the experience of trauma itself. Taking into account environmental factors, including resource hardships and acculturative stresses, is crucial for any intervention promoting the mental well-being of refugee youth. The authors of this study report preliminary findings from an intervention implemented with Somali refugee middle school students in New England.

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Addressing health disparities in the mental health of refugee children and adolescents through community-based participatory research: A study in 2 communities

Report Author: 
Bentancourt, T.S., Frounfelker, R., Mishra, T., Hussein, A., & Falzarano, R.
Original Date of Publication: 
2015 Jul

Refugee youth have a much higher risk of experiencing psychological distress and mental health disorders than their non-refugee U.S. peers. Much of this elevated risk is due to "multiple acute and chronic stressors" that youth face throughout their refugee experience. To explore the mental health needs and community strengths of Somali Bantu and Bhutanese refugee youth in Massachusetts, this study utilized a community-based participatory research approach - a method that ensures the communities being studied are meaningfully involved at all research stages.

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Deportations in the Dark: Lack of Process and Information in the Removal of Mexican Migrants

Report Author: 
Sara Campos & Guillermo Cantor
Original Date of Publication: 
2017 Sep

This report is based on the testimonies of 600 migrants who were deported from the United States to Mexico between August 2016 and April 2017. Those interviewed pointed towards systematic failures to follow established procedures for detention and deportation. For example, 43.5 percent of interviewees reported that they were not informed of their right to contact their consulate, and more than half (55.7 percent) were not asked if they feared returning home – a key element of applying for asylum.

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