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CLALS | Deportation and the Health of U.S. Latino Communities

Conference on Community Disruption in D.C.

On September 13-14, 2012 the AU Center on Health, Risk and Society (CHRS) hosted a conference focusing on three specific processes of community disruption particularly relevant to health in the D.C. area: incarceration and re-entry, neighborhood change and gentrification, and immigration and deportation. The conference was co-sponsored by CLALS and the District of Columbia Developmental Center for AIDS Research (DC D-CFAR). As part of its research initiative studying the health implications of the preciptious rise in deportations, CLALS organized a panel of scholars who are among the few undertaking systematic, empirical research on this subject. Below is a list of the panel participants along with a brief description of their research.

Moderator: Fernanda Trotta Bianchi, PhD: Senior Research Scientist, Department of Psychology, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, The George Washington University



Picture of Dr. Julia Gomez Dickson

Julia Gómez-Dickson, PhD: Professor, Center for AIDS Intervention Research, Medical College of Wisconsin

“Left Behind: The Effects of Immigration on Salvadoran Children, Families and Communities”

Dr. Gómez-Dickson presented research exploring the macro- and micro-social contexts of crack use and HIV risk in Salvadoran communities affected both by mass emigration to the U.S. and the deportation of immigrants back to El Salvador. Her research utilizes qualitative methods to evaluate network-based HIV prevention interventions for drug users and at-risk women.

Picture of Dr. Victoria Ojeda

Victoria Ojeda, MPH, PhD: Assistant Professor, Division of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine, University of California at San Diego 

"Deportation Experiences of Mexican Sex Workers and Drug Users and Implications for U.S.-Based HIV and Drug Use Research"

Using in-depth interviews conducted in Tijuana with 20 male clients of female sex workers (FSWs) recently deported from the U.S., Ojeda's research explores the relationship between deportation and HIV vulnerability. Clients perceived deportation as resulting in social isolation and economic dislocation, which were linked to HIV through drug abuse and sex with FSWs.

Picture of Dr. Luis Zayas

Luis H. Zayas, PhD: Dean of the School of Social Work and Centennial Professor in Leadership at The University of Texas at Austin 

“From Case to Cause: Protecting Citizen-Children through Practice, Research, and Advocacy”

Dr. Zayas traced how his advocacy work on behalf of U.S. citizen children who have experienced the deportation of a parent has evolved into an exploratory study, funded by NICHD, on the effects of immigration enforcement policies on the mental and psychosocial functioning of young Americans. More information about Dr. Zaya's research can be found here.


Patricia Foxen, PhD: Deputy Director of Research, National Council of La Raza 

Jayesh Rathod, JD: Associate Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, American University