The Health Implications of Deportation Policy (Juliana E. Morris & Daniel Palazuelos, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved; 26(2):406-9, May 2015)
The United States detains and deports over 400,000 people annually. This large-scale effort has important consequences for the health of affected individuals and communities. A growing body of research suggests that deportation increases stress and mental illness, economic deprivation, and individual exposure to violence, while also contributing to destabilization and crime at the community level. The challenges to reintegration experienced by deportees are additional push factors that increase their desire to re-emigrate. Furthermore, the related destabilization of local communities also contributes to the push, not just for deportees, but for all affected people in the region. This phenomenon has important implications for the long-term effectiveness of current U.S. deportation policies, which may be contributing to destabilization in home countries and thus potentiating further unauthorized emigration to the U.S.