Kristina Lovato, assistant professor in the school of social work spoke Wednesday about her research on the emotional effects of deportation on immigrant families at the Center for Latino Community Health’s fourth Brown Bag Research Talk.
Her findings included difficulty in coping with the loss of a parent due to deportation, as well as a change in the traditional family structure.
“Families are suffering and we as social workers and public health professionals need to understand how to better serve their needs and how to enhance collaborations,” Lovato said.
Jessica Ordaz, who is pursuing a master’s degree in social work, found the topic engaging given her current work in health and human services for the City of Long Beach.
“It’s very important right now because of the Trump Administration,” Ordaz said. “How do we heal our community after he’s out of office?”
Ordaz mentioned the recent decision of the Supreme Court, which could potentially prevent immigrants who benefit from public services from receiving citizenship.
Lovato said that fear of immigration enforcement can prevent some families from utilizing public services.
“Families are really afraid to access any kind of service support whether it’s public benefits and this is becoming even more difficult with the Supreme Court public charge policy,” Lovato said.
Melawhy Garcia, the co-director of the center said she is excited about the future of the Brown Bag Research Talk events.
“We’re always looking to see how we can train students and at the same time, improve the community’s health and cultivate competent research,” Garcia said.