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Migración es una enfermedad: immigration policies, family separation, chronic fear, and adversity


This dissertation uses several frameworks to understand how immigration policies shape the lives of immigrant families and impact their well-being. Fundamental cause theory states that some social conditions remain persistently associated with health inequalities over time despite changes in diseases, risk factors, and health interventions. Link and Phelan defined social conditions as “factors that involve a person’s relationships to other people. These include everything from relationships with intimates to positions occupied within the social and economic structures of society.” Using critical ethnography and qualitative in-depth interviews with immigrant caregivers I 1) explore how immigration policies create a vulnerable labor force and promote family separation, 2) examine how pathogenic policing creates chronic fear in immigrant families and 3) discuss how current adversity measures are not adequate for immigrant populations.

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