Migration integration policies as social determinants of health for highly educated immigrants in the United States

Mitra Naseh et al
Date of Publication: 
July, 2023
Source Organization: 

This study explores how increasingly restrictive migration policies are having an adverse affect on the health of the growing number of highly educated immigrants (HEIs) in the U.S. The authors employed qualitative study methods (phenomenology and inductive reasoning) and collected data through 31 semi-structured interviews with adult HEIs from 17 countries who were intending to remain in the U.S. Several themes emerged from the analysis: 1) a life filled with silent worries, 2) living through uncertainties and forced decisions, and 3) the complexities and challenges of living on a work visa. Narrative comments revealed high rates of stress and anxiety, negative mental and physical health outcomes, high levels of internalized vulnerabilities, and deprivations and hardship in work, school, and family life related to the complexities of different visa types, changing rules and regulations, varying country quotas, communication challenges, and frustrating bureaucratic processes. Interviewees made a number of recommendations for improving migration policies including: creating a better and more transparent communication system, replacing random review processes for applications with systematic procedures, creating expedited pathways to citizenship based on merit, and granting access to work as a basic human right. The authors also called for more research to foster an “in-depth understanding of the history, traditions, value systems, world views, family systems, and artistic expressions of different groups of immigrants in relation to migration policies.” (Robert Like, MD, MS)

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Mitra Naseh et al. (2023, July). Migration integration policies as social determinants of health for highly educated immigrants in the United States. BioMed Central Public Health. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-023-16...(SES).