publicidad
The emotional toll of immigration enforcement  UNIVISION-NEWS-D.png
The undocumented community is worried about Donald Trump's arrival to the White House on January 20, 2017.

The emotional toll of immigration enforcement

The emotional toll of immigration enforcement

A growing chorus of voices has warned about the possibility of increased immigration raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The potential for trauma is immense, explains William D. Lopez, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Michigan.

The undocumented community is worried about Donald Trump's arrival t...
The undocumented community is worried about Donald Trump's arrival to the White House on January 20, 2017.

When immigration officers forcibly remove individuals from their homes, it impacts the psychological, emotional and economic well-being of their families and communities.

Given president-elect Donald Trump's stated plans to deport millions of undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S., a growing chorus of voices has warned about the possibility of increased immigration raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security. Legal research describes immigration raids as swift, violent, traumatic and often in violation of Fourth Amendment rights.

Though it is unclear how often immigration raids occur, their use is reported to have intensified in 2016, despite arguments that such raids are inhumane.

ICE officers make an arrest in New York City in 2015.
ICE officers make an arrest in New York City in 2015.

Lawyers working with clients involved in raids have collected details of what these raids look like. Raids often occur in early morning hours by agents clad in body armor carrying assault rifles. Residents of raided facilities are forced to sit in a central location, and others who are suspected of being undocumented are also arrested – a legal practice rooted in and leading to racial profiling. There are often witnesses, many of whom are children.

The potential for trauma is immense. Our work serves as an example.

In November 2013, one such raid happened a few miles from the University of Michigan where researchers and activists, myself among them, were working with the local Latino community. ICE collaborated with the local police department in a full day of immigration enforcement actions that targeted a single individual who had previously been deported and allegedly possessed a weapon. This culminated in the raid of the individual’s automobile workshop, as well as his apartment on the floor above it. Multiple community members, including some who were picking up their cars from his workshop, were arrested and deported, and mothers and children were in the apartment when it was raided.

publicidad

This immigration enforcement action occurred three months into a five-month survey of Latinos in Washtenaw County, Michigan, which my colleagues were conducting. Because the raid occurred about halfway through the data collection, about two-thirds of the survey participants completed the survey before the raid and about one-third after. This provided an opportunity to quantitatively measure the effects of immigration enforcement on a Latino community.

Families living in fear

Participants who completed the survey after the raid reported feeling less free to interact with their social networks, less able to use government services and more fearful of the consequences of deportation. These findings are consistent with other emerging research that shows that fear of deportation affects access to health services.

These findings suggest that the impact of raids mirrors that of anti-immigrant legislation, which also causes a decrease in service utilization. For example, after the passage of the Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, which required proof of citizenship to receive public benefits, Latinas were less likely to utilize health services, even when those services did not require legal residency. Similarly, after the passage of Arizona Senate Bill 1070, which empowered police to detain individuals who could not verify citizenship status, Mexican-origin mothers were less likely to use public assistance regardless of their immigration status.

We also interviewed many of the individuals detained in the raid. Interviewees described a range of physical, psychological and economic impacts that affected people throughout the community, whether they were undocumented or U.S. citizens. Some who were detained said that the most emotional, challenging aspect of the incident was the feeling that they had abandoned their families. (The names of the interviewees are withheld to protect their identity.) One interviewee said:

publicidad

“It’s so hard because my sister, my nephew and nieces, my wife, my children, all were under my care, as I took care of everything that they needed… What I earned I earned for diapers, milk, food for the house… I would ask myself, ‘Now who is going to help them? Who is going to give them what is needed?’”

Even after release from detention, families were affected by the temporary removal of spouses and partners. As one man who was not deported because of his extensive ties to the U.S. said:

“[My wife] gets sick, I mean like sick, sick like a dog. Like for the first month [after I was released from detention], she just wasn’t the same, like we can’t even carry a conversation for more than five minutes before we both start crying.”

Insecure children

Parents described profound effects on their children. Some children were present in the raided apartment, while others learned their parents had been detained afterwards. A mother who was in the raided apartment with her infants described the effects that persisted long after the day of the raid:

“My daughter cried for a long time. She was crying for like three or four months [after the raid]. She tried to sleep but she would cry and cry. She did things that she didn’t do before.”

A growing body of research illustrates the damaging and often long-term effects of immigration enforcement on children, regardless of their immigration status. For some children, the removal of their parents may result in their placement in foster care. Children have also returned home from school to empty homes after parents were removed and they were not notified, an experience described by “Orange Is the New Black” actress Diane Guerrero.

Children of those detained also became fearful any time they saw law enforcement vehicles. One mother shared:

“[My son] says, ‘It scares me when you leave the house, when you drive, because I don’t want the police to take you like they took my dad… or like they took my uncle.’”

Fraying trust within communities

This reaction was common for adults as well. As other emerging work has reported, interviewees describe the collaboration between local police and ICE as damaging relationships between Latinos and law enforcement. As one interviewee shared, “People were afraid to call the sheriff or the police and report any kind of crime. I think that in and of itself is pretty tragic because it’s just revictimization after revictimization.”

The raid also caused members of the community to become more suspicious of each other. They feared that the people who were targeted by ICE would likely be targeted again. As a community-based outreach director told us:

publicidad

“If I’m not part of [the raid] and my neighbor is, I try to distance myself from him and not speak to him. So it shatters the community. It tears at the well being of the neighborhood and of friendships. Many friendships were fractured because people don’t want to be close to someone who is at risk of being deported, at risk of being arrested.”

The immigration enforcement actions of November 2013 targeted one single individual, yet evidence shows the ripple effects of these actions throughout the community. Should President-elect Trump increase the use of immigration raids in pursuit of his deportation goals, the negative effects of this enforcement would deeply penetrate the families, homes and communities where immigrants live.

This story originally appeared on The Conversation.

The Conversation
publicidad
publicidad
A group of Argentines diagnosed with mental illness set up a radio station from where they broadcast their experiences
This is the story of how land along the frontier between the U.S. and Mexico passed through Spanish and Mexican hands before becoming part of the United States. In those days there was no wall.
Ramón, who is from Mexico, has worked over the last six years to cross immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border. He shares with us how he does it, the price he must pay to the cartels and the dangers of the journey.
A simple wall is not going to fix the problems on the U.S-Mexico border. The flow of undocumented immigrants arriving to the U.S. is ceaseless, a 2,000-mile border wall is not viable and investment in the Border Patrol has already increased threefold over the last decade. Univision took a trip along the border to examine the complexities.
In the dairy industry in Wisconsin, at the heart of the Rust Belt where Donald Trump won by a landslide, more than half of the workers are immigrants and most of them are undocumented. No American citizen wants to do the hard work they do.
How Fidel Castro's plan to save Cuban baseball unraveled. The once mighty amateur baseball champions have lost much of their talent in recent years to U.S. Major League Baseball. Now the Cuban government is in discussions with MLB to stop the desertions. But will a Trump presidency make that more difficult?
Julian Rodriguez managed to place his 86-year-old grandmother back in the streets of her childhood home through virtual reality technology.
The funeral events commenced this morning in Havana in the aftermath of Fidel Castro's death. Cuba will be in mourning until Sunday, December 4.
Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro spoke to journalists Barbara Walters in 1977, and Diane Sawyer in 1993, about the differences between Cuba and the United States.
The chairman of the Congressional Democratic Caucus, Xavier Becerra of California says there is growing concern over the “widespread misrepresentation by top media outlets” of an exit poll of the Latino vote in the Nov 8 elections. He said he was reaching out to Edison Research, the firm that conducted exit polling on behalf of a consortium of the major media networks, to request disclosure of the data and methodology.
A half-century of armed conflict has left behind 8 million victims in Colombia. It has also affected the country's unique natural resources. We explore the war’s impact on Colombia’s environment.
Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States. Here are some of Trump's most memorable phrases from the campaign trail.
At the end of 1980 ‘Team USA’ defeated ‘Tri’ for the first time in almost fifty years. Footage from this match was presumably hidden by the Mexican Federation, but after more than three decades these images are revealed here.
Forty three students in Mexico were abducted two years ago, and to this day, none have ever been found. When his son Jorge disappeared, New York City plumber Antonio Tizapa began to run marathons, not to win, but to send a message at the end of each race: he won’t stop until he finds his son or the truth about what really happened on that shameful day. On Sunday, Antonio and 20 friends will be running the New York City Marathon.
The former model was role-playing in a 1993 clothing commercial. The video was obtained exclusively by Univision Investiga.
Detienen a dos sospechosos de la balacera durante desfile en honor a Martin Luther King Jr. en Miami
Las autoridades indicaron que detuvieron a dos sospechosos tras el tiroteo dejó al menos ocho personas heridas, una de gravedad; sin embargo, no se ha aclarado si los sujetos son los responsables de la balacera y de la posterior estampida que se generó.
Laura – ‘Estoy harta de alcahuetear las infidelidades de mi madre’ Accede
Mi madre engaña a mi padre con otro hombre, mi hermana la ha apoyado porque su amante nos da dinero. Mi madre provocó que todos los negocios de mi papá se fueran a la quiebra y tuvo que irse a trabajar lejos de nosotras.
En medio de protestas de veteranos, salvadoreños conmemoran 25 años del fin de la guerra civil
Veteranos del ejército y de la exguerrilla salieron a las calles protestar por beneficios económicos y el "abandono". Mientras tanto, el presidente salvadoreño, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, anunció que, con el respaldo de la ONU este año, iniciará un nuevo diálogo para alcanzar una segunda generación de acuerdos frente a los desafíos actuales.
publicidad
Buscan a otras víctimas del hombre que suplantó a Justin Bieber para extorsionar a una menor
Durante dos años hizo que la joven le enviara fotos al desnudo y, al ser detenido, confesó que instigó a otras niñas en distintos estados del país.
Autoridades interrogan a dos sospechosos del tiroteo en Florida que dejó ocho personas heridas
La balacera ocurrió durante la celebración del Día de Martin Luther King en un parque memorial de Liberty City, al sur de Florida. Uno de los ocho heridos está en condición crítica.
BMW responde a las amenazas de Trump: la planta prevista para México se queda en México
La fabricante alemana no dará marcha atrás a su planta en San Luis Potosí. El ministro de Economía alemán también le respondió al presidente electo que su plan de castigar a las automotrices afectará a la propia industria estadounidense.
Un mal procedimiento estético en los labios casi le borra la sonrisa
Con el afán de lucir unos labios bellos y carnosos Gaby Flores se sometió a un procedimiento estético, sin saber que caería en las manos equivocadas y quedaría con un fatal resultado.
Copa MX
Menospreciada por todos, la Copa MX es un bálsamo para los ganadores
Arranca el desangelado torneo que ha ayudado a los últimos ganadores a lavar sus derrotas y frustraciones futbolísticas de la Liga.
Ricardo La Volpe: “No me interesa el tarado que me diga fracasó”
El director técnico de las Águilas se dice creyente y aseguró que los logros y decepciones siempre son por algo.
Fútbol
Toda la información y noticias sobre lo último del fútbol mundial
Serena Williams superó a Belinda Bencic en el Australian Open
La tenista estadounidense brindó un gran partido ante la suiza para llevarse el triunfo por 6-4, 6-3.