Concept of difficulties that immigrants suffer trying to enter in Usa.

Credit: iStock

As a thought leader in mental health and well-being in Texas, the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health feels compelled to publicly respond to recent harmful rhetoric regarding people who immigrate to Texas. We know that immigrants, especially asylum seekers and refugees, often experience trauma and violence before, during, and after migration. This trauma can often manifest as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, substance use, and depression. Many people who are undocumented may delay or forgo mental health care altogether out of fear of detainment or deportation. Additionally, recent proposed legislation may increase barriers and altogether bar people who are undocumented from accessing social services and public education, further exacerbating these mental health concerns.

Researchers have yet to fully determine the full mental health impacts of increased anti-immigrant sentiment across the country. However, immigrants in states with more restrictive immigration policies report experiencing more discrimination than immigrants in states with less restrictive immigration policies.[i] Regardless of means of immigration, we should all be aware of the trauma that many people face before, during and after migration. The Hogg Foundation acknowledges the impact of racism, sexism, and other structural oppressions on mental health, and continues to speak out against these oppressions even when it is challenging to do so. We remain committed to the belief that Racism is a Mental Health Crisis.

[i] Gurrola, M.A. & Ayón, C. (2018). Immigration policies and social determinants of health: Is immigrants’ health at risk? Race and Social Problems. 10, 209–220.


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