Assistant Professor of Social Work Carolina Hausmann-Stabile studies pediatric suicidal behaviors, with a particular focus on Latina adolescents. We asked her to comment on the possible mental health implications of the Trump administration's decision to rescind the DACA program.
“The end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the program that provided protection from deportation to more than 800,000 undocumented immigrants, will carry harmful effects on many immigrant children and young adults living in the United States.
"It is expected that the already elevated levels of anxiety and depression observed among Dreamers will continue to increase as they face the new policy scenario. Because of their lack of legal protections to work and study, Dreamers will be forced to withdraw from school and work, and to give up their hopes for a better life. Additionally, and because of fear, many will restrict their interactions with their social networks. Hopelessness and lack of social support are strong predictors of suicidal behaviors among young people.
"We expect to see more suicidal behaviors among Dreamers. Mental health professionals, including social workers, must work in their communities to support Dreamers during this time of elevated stress, but also think of transnational support for this group of immigrants who may face deportation under current policies."