Adults in Immigrant Families Report Avoiding Routine Activities Because of Immigration Concerns

Adults in Immigrant Families Report Avoiding Routine Activities Because of Immigration Concerns

With changes in U.S. immigration policies and stricter immigration enforcement in recent years spreading insecurity and fear within immigrant communities, one in six adults in immigrant families report that they or a family member avoid routine activities in which they could be asked about their citizenship status, a report from the Urban Institute finds. Based on survey responses from nearly two thousand adults who are foreign-born or live with one or more foreign-born family members, the report, Adults in Immigrant Families Report Avoiding Routine Activities Because of Immigration Concerns (17 pages, PDF), found that the activities avoided most often were those likely to bring respondents into contact with police or other public authorities, such as driving a car (9.9 percent), renewing or applying for a driver's license (9.0 percent), or reporting crime (8.3 percent). Other avoided activities included venturing into public places such as a park, library, or store (7.8 percent); visiting a doctor or clinic (6.3 percent); using public transportation (5.8 percent); and talking with teachers or school officials (4.7 percent). And among adults in immigrant families with at least one family member who is not a citizen or legal permanent resident of the U.S., one in three reported avoiding a routine activity, while in families where all members are citizens or permanent residents one in nine reported doing so. The report also notes that adults in immigrant families who avoided at least one activity were more likely to report serious psychological distress.

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