Laws and Policies Related to the Health of US Immigrants: A Policy Scan

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
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Authors:

Scott D. Rhodes, PhD, MPH, FAAHB Twitter
Lilli Mann-Jackson, MPH
Eunyoung Y. Song, PhD
Mark Wolfson, PhD
Alexandra Filindra, PhD
Mark A. Hall, JD

Objective:

We conducted a policy scan of state and local laws and policies across the United States (US) related to social determinants of health among immigrants.

Methods:

We collected all state and municipal laws and policies in 10 domains that had the potential to affect immigrant health from all 50 US states and the 30 most populous US metropolitan statistical areas. We coded these laws and policies and created an index of restrictiveness and supportiveness of immigrants.

Results:

We identified 539 state and 322 municipal laws and policies. The most common restrictive state laws and policies were in the domains of identification requirements and driver’s license access. The most common supportive state laws and policies were in the domains of health services and higher education access. The most common restrictive municipal laws and policies were in the domains of identification requirements and immigration policy enforcement. The most common supportive municipal laws and policies were in the domains of immigration policy enforcement and health services access.

Conclusion:

Most states had index scores reflecting policy environments that were primarily restrictive of immigrants, indicating potential negative impacts on social determinants of health. Further research examining the impact of these on health behaviors is warranted.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 7, Number 4, July 2020, pp. 314-324(11)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.7.4.4