Washtenaw County, MI, has a population of over 12,000 Latinos  (about 3.5 % of the population), yet Latinos are frequently underrepresented in county-level data . To gain a more accurate depiction of the health of the Washtenaw County Latino population, collaborators at the University of Michigan, Washtenaw County Public Health Department, and Casa Latina, a community-based organization engaged with the local Latino community, designed and implemented the EBV. Community partners were involved in the creation and review of the EBV instrument, and feedback following the pilot phase was used to shape survey implementation. The University of Michigan’s Institutional Review Board approved the research.
The EBV queried a range of topics, including health-related knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors; access to health care; sources of health information; family and child health; and social and neighborhood conditions . Although the study was not designed to capture the effects of immigration raids specifically, it did aim to address issues of concern related to immigration and immigration law enforcement.
The survey was conducted in Spanish or English, online or face-to-face, by trained members of the local Latino community. Inclusion criteria included being 18 years of age or older, identifying as “Hispanic or Latino/a,” and living in Washtenaw County. A total of 487 Latinos participated in the survey from September 2013 to January 2014. An immigration raid occurred about halfway through the data collection period, resulting in 325 participants who completed the survey before and 151 who completed the survey after the raid.
On the evening of November 7, 2013, a joint task force composed of agents from ICE and the County Sheriff’s Department conducted an immigration raid on a two-story warehouse unit not zoned for residential use that was converted into a mechanic shop on the first floor and living quarters on the second floor. The Sherriff’s Department utilized a special weapons and tactics (SWAT) unit because of the belief that firearms and drugs may be present in the facility. The mechanic shop was well known to and utilized by many local residents up to the day of the raid.
Several members of a local immigration advocacy organization, the Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights (WICIR ), were notified by members of the community of the raid, which was preceded by ongoing arrests of Latinos throughout the day, and arrived on the scene to witness events and support the individuals present. By multiple accounts, including testimony of those in the facility when the raid occurred, WICIR volunteers present immediately after the raid, and information obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, three women, four children under the age of five, and multiple men were in the facility when it was raided. Agents pushed in a door, breaking the lock, and ordered the women to the floor at gunpoint while two were holding infants in their arms. Multiple men were detained and later deported. Three days later, approximately 40 community members, including the women involved in the raid and multiple authors of the current study, attended a community gathering at a local church. The women described their treatment by officers and their fears of the psychological repercussions that witnessing the raid could have on their children. Community members and advocates agreed to re-engage the Sheriff’s office in order to discuss how to rebuild trust between the community and local police.
Independent variable: Raid timing
We created an independent variable (raid timing) based on whether participants completed the EBV before or after the day of the raid (0 = before, 1 = after). The EBV includes data from 487 completed surveys. We excluded five participants whose surveys were completed on the day of the raid and six participants whose completion date was unknown. The analyses represent 476 individuals, 325 participating before the raid and 151 afterward.
Immigration enforcement stress and self-rated health (SRH)
We utilized three survey measures originally intended to capture day-to-day stress related to immigration enforcement: “My legal status has limited my contact with family and friends,” “I will be reported to immigration if I go to a social service agency,” and “I fear the consequences of deportation.” The first two items were adapted from the acculturative stress scale of the 2012 National Latino and Asian American Study , and the third was created by the EBV team. Participants responded to each item on a scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Thus, higher scores (more agreement) represent a stronger negative influence of immigration enforcement on participants’ day-to-day lives.
Secondly, we utilize a measure of self-rated health to which participants responded on a scale from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent). SRH has been shown to be strongly and consistently associated with mortality , with even stronger associations in recent decades . Conceptually, SRH is proposed to capture a state of “the human body and mind” (p. 307) that takes into consideration physiological sensations, comparison groups, and health behaviors. More pertinent to the current study, research has considered how SRH is linked to social capital (such as trust among neighbors or norms of reciprocity) , with lower SRH scores related to less social capital. Associations between SRH and mortality have been found in Latino subsamples, though the relationships appear to be moderated by acculturation  and language .
We use standard demographic variables including sex (0 = female), age in years (continuous), and relationship status (0 = not in a relationship) as well as variables that assess language ability (English communication skills, language spoken with friends, and language spoken with family) and nativity (0 = born outside of the US). Lastly, we include two variables that assess participant ties to the community where the raid occurred, including years in Washtenaw County and presence of children in the home (0 = no). Immigration status was not directly assessed because of concerns for the vulnerability of survey participants.
Pairwise correlation was used to examine the relationships among the three immigration enforcement stress measures, SRH, sex, nativity, the presence of children in the home, and raid timing. We utilized two linear regression models with (1) the intensity of immigration enforcement stress, and (2) self-rated health as outcome variables. To create the outcome variable for the first model, we used principle axis factoring of the three immigration enforcement stress measures to create a single factor that captures the intensity of immigration enforcement on participants’ day-to-day lives. We control for age, sex, relationship status, years in Washtenaw County, children in the home, and nativity.