September 26, 2017

Unique Challenges and Health Needs of DACA-eligible Young Adults

This 2014 article, written by researchers from the University of California San Francisco Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, investigates the health needs and challenges of DACA-eligible young adults, a population that has rarely been studied.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program served qualified undocumented young immigrants who may be eligible for temporary legal status but who are excluded from the Health Care Exchanges and Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.

A panel of health and immigration advocates conducted focus groups reaching 61 DACA-eligible Latinos. Results show that participants largely avoid the health care system and turn to family members and unlicensed community leaders first. Other barriers that were presented include limitations in health care literacy, cost of health care, and fear of deportation and/or discrimination. Being of an undocumented status appears to have a significant effect on the observed prevalence of mental health problems and long terms stress.

This research has important implications for future immigration reform and policy changes as this is the first study that describes the unique health care challenges and needs of DACA-eligible young adults.

 

To view the abstract, please click here.