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Health Inequities Among Latinos/Hispanics: Documentation Status as a Determinant of Health


The Hispanic/Latino population is the largest minority group in the USA. Research has documented health disadvantages of undocumented Latinos/Hispanics compared to their documented counterparts. The economic and social conditions that influence immigrant health may operate differently for undocumented immigrants compared to their documented counterparts. Access to healthcare, access to health-protective resources (social, economic, and political contributors), and immigration enforcement actions are three mechanisms that affect immigrants and contribute to the social and health inequities within the Latino/Hispanic population. We argue that social factors within these three mechanisms distinctly affect undocumented immigrants. We discuss these factors by synthesizing the existing literature on documentation status and health. In doing so, we highlight opportunities for future research and provide recommendations for policies and interventions that can ease the taxing effects of documentation status on health among Latinos/Hispanics.

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Correspondence to Adolfo G. Cuevas.

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Cabral, J., Cuevas, A.G. Health Inequities Among Latinos/Hispanics: Documentation Status as a Determinant of Health. J. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities 7, 874–879 (2020).

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  • Documentation status
  • Immigrants
  • Hispanics/Latinos
  • Health