Date of Award

8-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Major Professor

Clea A. McNeely

Committee Members

Donald J. Bruce, Jennifer M. Jabson, Lisa C. Lindley, Cristina S. Barroso

Abstract

Since 2005, US states have passed hundreds of immigration policies. Among state policies that restrict rights for immigrants, omnibus immigration policies are the harshest. Omnibus immigration policies expand local enforcement of federal immigration law; create penalties for employers who hire undocumented immigrants; and restrict undocumented immigrants’ access to public benefits.

Omnibus immigration policies have attracted considerable attention and concern from researchers, policymakers, health care providers, and civil rights advocates. However, no single resource has compiled a comprehensive list of omnibus immigration policies. In Paper 1, I used a clear definition of omnibus immigration policies—policies that incorporate three or more immigration-related measures in a single law—to identify all omnibus immigration policies passed between 2005 and 2014. I identified 19 omnibus laws in 11 states. Paper 1 discusses the provisions in each of these laws; the outcomes of lawsuits challenging the laws; and the current status of each law. This review provides a critical resource for researchers who seek to understand the factors that predict passage of an omnibus policy, or to examine the effects of omnibus policies.

There is evidence that omnibus immigration policies increased barriers to health care for all Latinos, regardless of immigration status, but no studies have used rigorous, quasi-experimental methods to examine these potential effects. To fill this gap, Paper 2 used comparative interrupted time series and data from the National Health Interview Survey to estimate the long-term effects of omnibus policy passage on health insurance coverage, public insurance coverage, and unmet health care needs for citizen Latino children, and to examine how these effects varied by parent citizenship. After policy passage, health care access increased for children of citizens, increased or stayed the same for children of mixed-status parents, and decreased for children of noncitizens. Effects emerged immediately upon policy passage and declined over time. Our findings that restrictive immigration policies reduce health care access for children of immigrants are consistent with earlier qualitative and small, quantitative studies. This is the first study to demonstrate that restrictive immigration policies are followed by a temporary increase in health care access for Latino children of citizens.

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