Expert Available: Texas Crackdown on Illegal Immigrants Could Lead to Lasting Mental Health Harms for Latinos

November 20, 2023

Woman sitting down looking sad

WASHINGTON (Nov. 20 2023) -- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign a bill that would create a new crime for people entering the state illegally. Senate Bill 4 would allow local and state police to arrest undocumented immigrants who come into Texas. That move comes at the same time as Donald Trump vows to crack down on illegal immigration if he wins the upcoming presidential election.

Studies by Kathleen Roche, a professor of prevention and community health at the George Washington University, have shown that such anti-immigration policies and rhetoric can trigger anxiety, depression and other serious mental health problems for Latino families living in the United States.

Roche’s research suggests that for children and teens political rhetoric or policies to deport immigrants can compromise mental health, result in poor grades, and increase substance abuse and social problems lasting into adulthood.

Professor Roche is available to talk about the mental health impact that the Texas bill and anti-immigration rhetoric in the election might have for Latino families in the United States.

To schedule an interview with Prof. Roche, please contact Kathy Fackelmann at [email protected].