Mexican Immigrant Families Under Siege: The Impact of Anti-Immigrant Policies, Discrimination, and the Economic Crisis
Keywords: Latino families, immigration policy, discrimination, economic crisis
AbstractLatino immigrants have historically faced many challenges living in the United States (U.S.). The economic crisis combined with new anti-immigration policies and harsh enforcement strategies may exacerbate the stress and anxiety Latino immigrant families already endure as a result of discrimination and financial hardships. The purpose of this study was to understand the current challenges Latino immigrant families encounter within an anti-immigrant social-political environment. Fifty-two first generation immigrants participated in focus group sessions, which lasted between 90 and 120 minutes. The findings reveal that the economic crisis, anti-immigration policies, and enforcement strategies have deleterious effects on Latino immigrant families’ well-being. Participants stated that their limited English proficiency status and racial profiling were the basis for discriminatory practices they endured. Discrimination is experienced through instances of micro-aggression, as well as horizontal discrimination and institutional discrimination. Implications for social policy, social work practice, and research are discussed.
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