STEFFANIE: High levels of cross-border mobility also influence the TB epidemic in both the US and Mexico. As seen here, TB incidence in border states in both countries tends to be much higher than the national TB incidence rates. In Baja Calif, TB incidence is 57 per 100,000 (nearly 5X the national average), which has a major impact on TB incidence in CA.
STEFFANIE: Our signature research project will focus on the changing family dynamics of California’s immigrant population and the implications of family diversity for accessing health care. Today’s immigrant population contains a much higher percentage of whole-family units, women, and children, compared to a generation ago, when “lone male” migrants dominated the migration flow, especially from countries like Mexico. A major factor contributing to these new family dynamics is stronger border enforcement, which has led many immigrant families to reunify themselves on the U.S side of the border. As a result, millions of California-born children are growing up in families where one or both parents are undocumented. Undocumented parents of children who are U.S. citizens may be reluctant to seek medical care, because they are fearful of disclosure to the authorities. Our project will gather original survey data and qualitative data on mixed-status immigrant families, using interdisciplinary teams of faculty and students at all 10 UC campuses.
STEFFANIE: How immigrants are covered under the just-passed federal health care reform legislation has a crucial impact on states having the largest uninsured immigrant populations. In California, one out of five of the uninsured population under age 65 is an undocumented immigrant.
STEFFANIE : The federal health care reform act totally excludes undocumented immigrants from benefits. They are even prevented from buying their own health insurance through the government-sponsored insurance exchanges that will be set up under the legislation. This exclusion makes it urgent to address the situation of immigrant families of mixed-legal-status, to reduce at least the non- legal obstacles that they face in obtaining health care.
STEFFANIE PRESENTS- The irst COEMH workshop held in May 2010 at UCSD aimed to showcase ongoing research and offer an opportunity to mentor the next generation of researchers in migration and health, and provide networking opportunities for faculty, students and fellows.
STEFFANIE : 9 UC campuses were represented, and 20 grad students, undergrads and postdocs presented. 8 faculty members acted as discussants.
STEFFANIE – Attendees were extremely positive about this experience and about the opportunity to publish. For example, the workshop’s ‘usefulness to your professional dvpt” scored 8.7 on a 10 pt scale. 9 papers were chosen to be published in the FACTS journal, and an award was provided for best paper to a fellow from UCSF.