Study Finds Immigration Crackdowns Cause Detrimental Prenatal Well-Being, Low Birthweight

SB1070, Stanford Study, unborn

Study Finds Immigration Crackdowns Cause Detrimental Prenatal Well-Being, Low Birthweight

Friday, January 18, 2019
America Magazine

A recent Stanford University study indicates that crackdowns on unauthorized immigration may interfere with the development of unborn children.

The study found Latina immigrant women in Arizona who were pregnant during the contentious debate over S.B. 1070 and gave birth in the six-month period between July and December 2010 had babies with lower birthweight compared with those in prior years. Average birth weights did not decrease among U.S.-born white, black or Latina women during the same time....

Joe Rubio, senior organizer for the West/Southwest Industrial Area Foundation, said “nativist” legislation, like S.B. 1070 “was meant to scare people out of the state. The intention was to turn us against each other, especially the ‘show me your papers’ dimension of the bill.”

Immigration enforcement laws of that time sowed mistrust and suspicion in communities, Mr. Rubio said, noting that a number of parishes in Phoenix saw Mass attendance and community participation plummet. Children would call their homes after school to see if it was “safe,” he said, explaining it was considered dangerous if police officers were in the neighborhood.

“Who’s going to report crimes? Mean-spirited legislation affects not only this generation but generations to come,” he said. “You are hurting citizen children, future workers and, from a larger perspective, you’re damaging the body of Christ. We pursue this type of fear-based legislation to our peril.”