Trump Immigration Policies Spark Increased Anxiety and Poorer Sleep for Latino Youth, Study Finds

Migrants are loaded onto a bus by U.S. Border Patrol agents after being detained when they crossed into the United States from Mexico on June 1, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. The location is in an area where migrants frequently turn themselves in to Border Patrol and ask for asylum after crossing the border. In recent months, U.S. immigration officials have seen a surge in the number of asylum-seekers arriving at the border. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By Laura Kilvans, KQED

A UC Berkeley School of Public Health study suggests that since the 2016 presidential election, some Latino youth have experienced increased anxiety and poorer sleep.

Researchers assessed the health of nearly 400 teenagers living in California before and after the 2016 election. All youth in the study were born in the U.S. and have at least one immigrant parent.

More than 40% reported worrying about the impacts of U.S. immigration policy on their family, and those with concerns also had higher anxiety and worse sleep than their peers.

The study is part of ongoing research following primarily Mexican American farmworker families.

“The study is important because we’re showing that the current anti-immigration rhetoric and policies in the U.S. following the 2016 election is affecting the health of Latinx youth, including U.S. citizens,” said Brenda Eskenazi, professor of maternal and child health and epidemiology at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and lead author of the study.

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Laura Klivans is a community health reporter at KQED. 

Email:  lklivans@kqed.org  Twitter:  @lauraklivans

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