A Pew Research survey released this week found some distressing results: approximately 4 in 10 Latinos worry about themselves or someone close to them being deported from this country.
The survey took place last year between March 15-28 and included a sample of over 3,000 Hispanic respondents from a wide variety of statuses such as U.S. born citizens, foreign-born naturalized citizens, green card holders, and individuals without green cards or documentation.
The study found that nearly 80% of immigrants surveyed who were not citizens or green card holders worried “a lot or some about themselves or someone close to them being deported.”
While over 50% of immigrant green-card holders say they worry that they or someone close to them could be deported, about 30% of Latino immigrants who are naturalized U.S. citizens worry about deportation.
The research also showed that factors such as age, income, education, and discriminatory experiences led to varying results between groups.
This issue is a concern from a health standpoint. According to the American Psychological Association’s website, “research demonstrates that immigrants who fear deportation are much more vulnerable to heart disease, asthma, diabetes, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Miami-Dade has one of the largest Hispanic populations in the country, making up over 70 percent of the county’s population. Of the nearly two million Latinos currently in Dade county, 198,000 of them are unauthorized immigrants, otherwise known as undocumented.
Last week, South Florida representative Maria Elvira-Salazar (R-27) introduced an immigration bill in the House named the “DIGNITY” (DIGNIDAD) Act.
Among the many provisions in the bill, it “enacts a 10-year Dignity Program providing renewable legal status, and offers an additional optional redemption path to permanent legalization.”
Her office’s press release stated Elvira-Salazar “emphasized the themes of Dignity and Redemption” in her bill when finding a “compassionate and reasonable approach” to solving the issue of undocumented immigration in this country.
For more information visit, The Effects of Deportation on Families and Communities.