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March 25, 2010
Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Immigrant Health
By Sarah Trieweiler
The Institute for Community Health recently completed a Harvard Catalyst pilot grant to lead a community participatory research project which focused on understanding the impact of immigration enforcement on the health of immigrants in Everett, MA.
The one year project used both qualitative and quantitative research methods to collect data for policy recommendations and provide pilot data for a larger, multi-year research project. The project involved active participation of immigrant leaders, community advocates and their organizations as part of the research team. ICH provided training in research ethics and focus group facilitation to over 30 community partners. Over 50 immigrants participated in focus groups held in five different languages and facilitated by immigrant leaders. In addition, interviews were conducted with key stakeholders and leaders in Everett. Recommendations from the study include: regular meetings with the police chief, forming better relationships with city hall, improving access to health care, have provided a means for collective action among the numerous immigrant groups in Everett. Further opportunities for research and collaboration in Everett are being discussed.
Collaborators on the project include Everett Health Partnership (Cambridge Health Alliance), the Joint Committee for Children’s Health Care in Everett (JCCHCE), the Muslim American Civic and Cultural Association, the Everett Literacy Program, La Comunidad, Inc., Immaculate Conception Church, and the Scalbrini Center at St. Anthony’s Church.