The impact of deportation policies on Latinx students’ mental health

Dr. Randy Capps, Director of Research for U.S. Programs at the Migration Policy Institute, surveyed Latinx high school students to see how fear of deportation – of their parents, relatives, friends, or themselves – impacts their mental health. The students, roughly half foreign-born and half US-born, suffered anxiety, depression, and PTSD at significantly higher rates than other students their age. Strong bonds immigrant students formed with one another were a source of mutual support. Students who engaged in public policy activism showed improved mental health.


00:00-00:44 Intros

00:44-03:44 Study of impact of immigration policies on Latinx students’ mental health; demographics; key findings

03:44-05:41 Differences in number of traumatic experiences between foreign-born and U.S. born students and potential reasons

05:41-06:49 Differences by gender

06:49-09:40 Levels of perceived discrimination

09:40-13:18 Sources and forms of student support, including educators, parents, peers

13:18-14:38 Role of school counselors

14:38-18:30 Links between discipline practices and immigration-related fears; restorative justice; roles of school resource officers

18:30-24:17 Obstacles in accessing mental health resources and ways to reduce them

24:17-26:51 Student participation in public policy advocacy and its effect on students’ mental health 

26:51-27:28 Thanks to collaborators in the study

27:28-28:45 Outro


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Soundtrack by Podington Bear