Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2019 Issue »

    In-State Resident Tuition Policies and the Self-Rated Health of High-School-Aged and College-Aged Mexican Noncitizen Immigrants, Their Families, and the Latina/o Community

    Stephanie Potochnick, Sarah F. May, Lisa Y. Flores
    Research on state-level immigration policies and health in the United States is limited. In this article Stephanie Potochnick, Sarah May, and Lisa Flores address the gap in research on state-level immigration policies and health in the US by examining the health implications of in-state resident tuition (IRT) policies and their effects. As one of the largest inclusive state efforts, IRT policies reduce educational barriers for Latina/o undocumented immigrant youth, alleviate familial resource constraints, and promote social inclusion. Consequently, IRT and IRT-related policies are likely to have strong impacts on the health of Latina/o undocumented immigrant youth, their families, and their community. Analyzing nationally representative household data and using Mexican noncitizens to proxy undocumented status, the authors adopted a difference-in-difference strategy to identify the influence of IRT-related policies on general self-rated health. Their findings show that IRT policies are associated with better health for Mexican noncitizen youth and young adults and also provide preliminary evidence for positive spillover effects on the health of family members.

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    Stephanie Potochnick is an assistant professor of public affairs and public health at the University of Missouri. She has expertise in the social demography of immigration and how programs and policies promote the education and health of immigrant children. Her work has been featured in journals across disciplines, including the American Educational Research Journal, International Migration Review, Social Science Research, and Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. She is currently examining the impact local-level immigration enforcement policies have on the health, education, and overall well-being of immigrant children and families.

    Sarah F. May is a staff psychologist at the University of Arizona’s Counseling and Psych Services. As a scientist-practitioner, she focuses on the intersection of research and clinical practice, particularly with underserved populations and college students. Her research has focused on the integration of Latino/a immigrants in rural communities and the mental health effects of immigration policy and discrimination experiences among immigrant students and their families.

    Lisa Y. Flores is a professor and program director in the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Missouri. She has expertise in the career development of women and Latino/as and the integration of Latino/a immigrants in rural communities. Her work includes more than sixty-five journal publications, eighteen book chapters, and a coedited book, and she has presented more than two hundred conference presentations in these areas. Flores has been PI and co-PI on grants funded by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Agriculture. Her current grant-supported research is a five-year longitudinal study of cultural and social cognitive influences on the persistence intentions, academic engagement, and academic satisfaction of women and Latino/as in engineering.
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