Peacock Scholarship

Immigration, Citizenship, and Well-Being: The Uneven Trajectories of Undocumented Young Adults

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Living on the margins of citizenship can be very detrimental to a person’s well being. There are some undocumented young adults that appear to be moving in an upward trajectory in their lives due to access to educational opportunities, activist work and the ability to work legally. Most would think that because of these achievements the well being of these undocumented individuals would improve but we see that because of pre and post migration traumas, some vulnerabilities resurface that affect the well being of these individuals. We interviewed 23 undocumented people where asked about migration experiences, family life, schooling, work, health, an adapted CES-D measure of demoralization, and their social network. From our respondents we were able to see those who seemed to be rebuilding capital through new relationships, opportunities and activism, but despite this they were still in a state of incomplete liminality where their vulnerabilities could resurface. We believe these struggles to be long-term outcome of stressors associated with being undocumented. Access to mental health services for undocumented people can be a complex situation, which further exacerbates their plight. Even though some undocumented young adults appear to be improving in their situation, liminality still persists. This is important to consider at a time when many may falsely feeling that progress has been made.

Last modified
  • 06/11/2020
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