Dr. Rogelio Saenz: Using Data to Fight Racism, Push for Health Equity


Rogelio Saenz demographer and Latino health equity advocate at UTSA 2

Dr. Rogelio Sáenz is no stranger to health inequity. Growing up along the Texas-Mexico border, he saw Latino families ripped apart by poverty, plagued by systemic bias and racism, struggling to get the healthcare they needed—yet facing a mostly white leadership not ready for change. Sáenz' own grandfather worked as a janitor for a local electric co-op. He couldn't advance in the job due to extreme racism. He had to take side jobs to make extra money for his family. As a child, Sáenz himself experienced racism in the classroom. He continuously got in trouble for speaking Spanish. He also could not hang out with his white friend outside of class. “My white classmate invited me to his house. But then he [his classmate] came back and said, 'Never mind, my parents said no ...

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14 Things Latinos Should Know About the 2020 Census


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How important is the 2020 Census? Well, the results will determine political power, representation in Congress, and funding for schools, hospitals, roads, and social services in your community for the next 10 years. Here are some Q&As that emphasize the need to count Latinos and all people! 1. Why Is There a Census? The U.S. Constitution requires the government count everyone living in the country regardless of race, ethnicity, or citizenship status. The Census Act of 1790 created the first census. The government has conducted it every 10 years since to determine a population count, not a citizenship count. “The data collected affect our nation’s ability to ensure equal representation and equal access to important governmental and private sector resources for all ...

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Migrant Kids Suffer Stress, Trauma in Long Stays at Detention Centers


migrant children detained mental health trauma immigrant

Mental health experts are worried as the Trump administration pursues new policy that would allow it to indefinitely detain migrant families who have crossed the U.S. border illegally, rather than a maximum of 20 days NPR reports. Detainment is damaging children's mental health, they say. "If the regulation goes through and we hope it will not ... we're going to see additional harm done to children," Luis Zayas, a clinical social worker and psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, told NPR. Long Detainment Stays = Trauma Detained immigrant children and families already face big stress, according to a recent study. Researchers interviewed 425 mothers of children at the detention center. The mothers filled out a questionnaire about mental health symptoms in their ...

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Immigration Arrests Linked to Depression in Latino Kids


depressed sad mental health latina girl immigrant

Latino kids who experience the immigration-related arrest of a family member report more severe levels of depression than those who don’t have such an experience, according to new research. This is especially true for children who have one or both parents undocumented. “These arrests often are a distant abstract fear or urban legend for many Latino kids, but it becomes very real and frightening when it happens to their family, which can have serious repercussions for their mental health,” said lead researcher Dr. Zachary Giano of Oklahoma State University, in a press release. Distressing Findings The research, led by Oklahoma State University, is published in the American Psychological Association's journal Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. The scientists ...

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Protect Immigrant Health, Behavioral Scientists Advise


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As of 2017, the U.S. is home to roughly 44 million immigrants – the largest number of immigrants in the world, according to the Migration Policy Institute. The majority of immigrants are Latino. They relocate from Mexico as well as other countries such as El Salvador, Cuba, Dominican Republic, India, China, the Philippines, and Vietnam. To protect immigrant health—as well as the general public wellness—scientists from the Society of Behavioral Health (SBM) recommend that congress impose strict restrictions on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) intervention in or around medical facilities. "Protecting the health of immigrants promotes health equity and is an important investment in protecting the health of the American public including schools, families, communities, ...

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Bad News: Final Rule on Public Charge Will Hurt Latino Families


Immigrant march protest Latino media

The Trump Administration has announced its final decision regarding the public charge rule, which is set to take effect Oct. 15, 2019. This new regulation changes the policies used to decide whether the officials can deny an individual's citizenship application or modifications to their citizenship status if they are determined likely to become a public charge, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The changes could considerably reduce the number of legal immigrants permitted to enter and stay in the U.S. — by making it easier to reject green card and visa applications. The new rule is bad news for public health, according to Mark Del Monte, CEO and Interim Executive Vice President of the American Academy of Pediatrics. "[We] strongly opposes the final rule issued ...

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Latino Workers More Likely to Die on the Job


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Latino workers are more likely to die on the job than anyone else. Most of the Latinos killed are also immigrants, according to a news report by KALW radio. “In 2017, we lost 376 workers [in California],” Jora Trang, a managing attorney at the labor rights’ organization Worksafe, told KALW. “That’s more than one worker a day.” Latinos & Job Fatalities Latinos have disproportionately died on the job for quite some time. In 2016, 879 Latino workers were killed on the job. In 2017, that number rose to 903. This puts the Latino fatality rate higher than the national job fatality rate for all workers, Latino Rebels reports. “This is a national crisis. And it’s well past time that our elected leaders in Washington, D.C., stop playing politics and take ...

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Latino Immigrants Experience Losses, Distress During and After Migration



Medical access can be a determining factor in whether or not someone lives a healthy life. Lack of healthcare treatment especially impacts undocumented Mexican immigrants, according to new findings published in the Journal of Latinx Psychology. Not only does this have immediate effects on Latinos, but research also shows this demographic can suffer long-term psychological and physical impairments related to their migration, according toTexas Medical Center News (TMCN). “We knew there was a high prevalence of loss and trauma in this population—we expect it because we know the many challenges they face. However, they were so much higher than I could even imagine, particularly in terms of repeated exposure or multiple losses,” said Dr. Luz Garcini, the study’s lead author and a ...

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The Shocking Ways the Media Portrays Immigrants


Immigrant march protest Latino media

California media portray immigrants with derogatory descriptions with regularity, while immigrant voices and healthcare are rarely covered, according to a new report by Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG). The BMSG report examined over 2,500 immigration articles in 2017-2018 in California: Monterey (58.8% Latino), Sacramento (23.3% Latino), Kern (53.4% Latino), and San Diego (39.1% Latino). Researchers found neutral descriptors of immigrants—“undocumented” or “unauthorized”—in most media coverage. But they also found potentially dehumanizing terms—“illegal immigrants,” “illegal aliens,” or “illegals”—in nearly every news outlet, and 13% of all articles examined. No coverage focused on the health and well-being of immigrants, either. "The hostile ...

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