“Treating immigrants like criminals has a long history in the United States"
By: Melina Juarez Perez, PhD.

Draconian immigration legislation and its enforcement are linked to a variety of negative health outcomes both at the individual and community level. This includes behavioral health, such as missing medical appointments, avoiding public safety authorities in situations of domestic violence, and not following medication regimes. There are also psychological effects, such as depression, anxiety, and even suicide. As was the case for Heydi Gámez García, a thirteen-year-old Honduran asylum-seeker who committed suicide two weeks ago. Heydi had struggled with depression since her father was forced to return to Honduras in 2014. An asylum-seeker himself, Manuel Gámez was captured by ICE in Texas on his third attempt to reunite with Heydi in Long Island. ICE granted him permission to see his daughter as she was taken off life support, he returned to Texas on July 27th to complete his deportation process.

Heydi’s death is another example of the crises devastating immigrant communities and their families beyond the southern borderlands. Although the dehumanization of non-citizens and people of color is part of American nation-building, as I discuss in my recent article for the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage Blog , we are now in a new era of crimmigration. I argue that along with its effects on communities, crimmigration fundamentally challenges any claims of equality, respect for human dignity, or morality from the state and its officials, and thus, these policies undermine the legitimacy of law and the state. The utilization of concentration camps, separation of families, among other tactics, must be understood as part of the historical genocide of indigenous peoples and repression of borderland communities. Such a historical, comprehensive approach allows researchers and advocates to confront the intergenerational transmission of trauma and create appropriate interventions for the mental health and well-being of oppressed populations.

About the Author:
Melina Juárez Pérez, PhD is an instructor in the Department of Political Science and Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Western Washington University. Her research focuses on the intersections of class, gender, race, and sexuality and their role in shaping the lived experiences, health, and happiness of Latinx and queer people of color. Her work has been published in journals such as the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Policy Studies Journal, and Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.

Email: melina.juarez@wwu.edu
Twitter: @lameramitotera
Alcohol Related Deaths in New Mexico 2013-2017
New Mexico has for many years had a high burden due to alcohol-related harms. New Mexico’s alcohol-related death rate has been the highest in the United States. Many causes of death are at least partially alcohol-related. Excess alcohol consumption has both a human and economic effect on New Mexico. In 2010 excessive alcohol use cost more than 2 billion dollars, which equates to over $1,000 per resident per year. The NM alcohol-related death rate per 100,000 population averaged almost twice (1.9 times) the US rate from 2013 through 2017.​ American Indians bore a greater burden of alcohol-related death than other racial/ethnic groups.​ McKinley, Rio Arriba, and Cibola counties had the highest overall rates (148.5, 139.4, and 93.3 respectively) and chronic rates (90.9, 85.0, and 60.3 respectively).

Events & Resources
Webinars & Trainings

Transforming Organizational Policies and Practices through Trauma-Informed Care | Wednesday, August 7, 2019 (12-1pm)
UNM Prevention Research Center Noon Conference Series

Trauma (e.g., experiencing child abuse and neglect, violence, bullying, sexual harassment, etc.) affects significant numbers of people and can have lifetime effects on physical and emotional health, ability to form healthy relationships, and daily functioning. Those providing support and care for trauma survivors can also be deeply affected by trauma exposure. Community Against Violence (CAV), the domestic and sexual violence shelter in Taos, NM, has transformed their organization and its services through trauma-informed care, a strength-based approach to working with trauma survivors. Learn more about this evidence-based intervention, CAV’s process for integrating it as a core practice, and its significant effect on CAV’s approach to its sexual and domestic violence services.

Leona Woelk, Associate Scientist II
Rachel Cox, Community Against Violence Clinical Director 

ZOOM register in advance for this meeting:

For more information, contact:
Theresa Cruz, 505-272-8379 or ThCruz@salud.unm.edu 

Implementation Science at a Glance details how greater use of implementation science methods, models, and approaches can improve cancer control practice.