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Factors Influencing the General Well-Being of Undocumented Latina Immigrants in Texas (Essay Sample)


The paper analyses major factors influencing the General Well-Being of Undocumented Latina Immigrants in Texas. Many undocumented Latina immigrants in Texas have been sidelined in key areas such as health, educational attainment, and job opportunities.


Factors Influencing the General Well-Being of Undocumented Latina Immigrants in Texas
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Many Latinos from Central America, Mexico, and South America made their decision to migrate to the United States. The number of legal and illegal Latina/Latino immigrants has increased over the years. This has led to high cases of undocumented Latina immigrants in various states. The main aim of Latino immigration into the United States is to achieve what they believed was the American dream. They thought America was a better place for them since they lacked enough resources and opportunities in their native land. In addition, Latina immigration to the United States was as a result of poverty and abuses from their governments. In this case, their main purpose of immigration was to make their lives better.
The population of Latino needs great attention since it is growing at an alarming rate. According to U.S Census Bureau of population estimate 2011, there are approximately 50.5 million Latinos in the United States. This represents about 16 percent of the total population. In this case, there are great worries that Latino will be the largest ethnic group in the United States by 2050. The rising population has contributed to the controversial perspectives on the immigration of Latinos today. It is thus imperative to address the challenges the Latina community faces since it is one of the fastest growing population in the United States. It is well documented that Latinos face great disparities in education, health care, job opportunities, and other economic indicators. The discussion in this paper examines the factors influencing the well-being of Latinos in the five key areas such as health, educational attainment, and job opportunities.
(1) General Well-Being of Undocumented Latina Immigrants in Texas
The general welfare of undocumented Latina immigrants in Texas has been influenced by rapid changes in the United States. Immigration policies have been revived to ensure every individual who migrate to the United States is documented. Many Latinos have made immigration to Texas in the recent years either legally or illegally. According to 2010 Census Bureau population estimate, there are approximately 9.5 million Latinos in Texas. Since Latinos are the fastest growing population in Texas, they face imperative challenges. It is well documented that Latinos living in Texas face great disparities in education, health care, and economic indicators. In this case, the well-being of Latinos have been affected in five key areas, which includes, educational attainment, workplace, health, political leadership, and veterans affairs (Baker, Hayes , & Fortier , 2001).
The workforce in Texas is becoming more diverse since the number of Latinos has increased. According to 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Latino represents 16 percent of the total workforce in the United States. The figure is projected to increase in future due to the rising cases of undocumented immigrants (Berk, Schur, Chavez, & Frankel, 2000). In most case, Latinos are less likely to hold a degree compared to other communities living in Texas. This reduces their chances of acquiring government jobs thus concentrating mostly on private sectors. Unemployment rates among the Latinos vary depending on their level of education and their native origin. This depends on whether they are born in Texas or they are in the list of undocumented immigrants. For those who get to Texas on Visas, they stand a higher chance of acquiring jobs, which in most cases are blue collar jobs. In this case, the unemployment rate of undocumented Latinos in Texas is approximately 11.5 percent compared to 5.9 for the natives.
Unemployment rate for undocumented Latinos has also varied depending on their level of education attainment. In Texas, greater education attainment is correlated to better employment outcomes across all racial groups. In this case, Undocumented Latinos are disadvantaged since their level of education is low compared to other natives. Most of them are only able to acquire high school degrees thus having low chances of acquiring jobs. The immigration policies outlaws undocumented Latinos from attending public universities and colleges. K-12 public school teachers are required to verify their legal status and send the report to the education board of the state (Johanyak, 2012). In 2012, the rate or unemployment among the undocumented Latinos with high school degree was 10.3 percent compared to 6.4 percent of native Latinos (Braveman, Bennett, Lewis, Egerter, & Showstack, 2003). It is clear that native people in Texas have higher chances of acquiring job opportunities compared to foreign undocumented Latinos. Undocumented Latinos are discriminated in the job market thus leaving most of them being unemployed. Their undocumented status lowers their chances of getting jobs from government sectors. This forces most of them to venture into private sectors (Baker, Hayes , & Fortier , 2001). This is important since it enhances their welfare in the nation.
Educational attainment among undocumented immigrant Latinos in Texas has become a major problem. This has led to the widening of educational gap between Latinos and other ethnic groups in Texas. Lack of post-secondary education among undocumented Latina immigrants has forced them to lag behind other racial groups. To be enrolled in most higher education sectors in Texas, individuals need to produce proper documentation depicting their citizenship (Brook, McGlynn, & Cleary , 2006). Since most undocumented Latinos do not have proper documentation, they end up losing the opportunity. Most Latino immigrants are not found in various database of the state this cannot be enrolled for in for higher education.
Health is another factor affecting the well-being of undocumented Latina immigrants in Texas. It has been noted that Latina population in Texas faces major barriers in accessing suitable and sufficient health care. According to 2011 study from Pew Latina Center, 70 percent of Latino adults who are not citizens due to their undocumented status do not have health care insurance coverage (Abrego & Gonzales, 2010). Lack of health care insurance among undocumented Latina immigrants has led to heath disparities. The quality of healthcare they get is different from other citizens in the nation. In addition, research across Texas shows that ethnic minority especially undocumented Latinos get low quality health care services. In this case, they suffer from worse health outcomes thus increasing their chances of suffering from certain diseases (Carrasquillo, Carrasquillo, & Shea, 2000). Statistic from World Health organization shows that undocumented Latina Children have higher childhood obesity rate in Texas. This indicates that two in every five Latina children at the age of 2 to 19 years are overweight (Kilty & De Haymes, 2000). It is also noted that undocumented Latina women have 20 percent higher chances of dying from breast cancer compared to women from other ethnic groups (Abrego & Gonzales, 2010).
(2) Adjustment Factors
Various adjustment factors Influence the General Well-Being of Undocumented Latina Immigrants in Texas. Adjustment factors are barriers that prevent undocumented Latina immigrants from enjoying similar privileges with other citizens in Texas. The two main adjustment factors include lack of English proficiency and length of residency in the United States (Chumil, 2009). Their inability to speak proper English and length of their residency in Texas has barred them from acquiring some opportunities thus leading to adjustment factors.
A). Lack of English proficiency
The wellbeing of undocumented Latina immigrants in Texas has been affected by lack of English proficiency. Most of the foreign-born Latinos speak Spanish and thus face great challenges while communicating. Language is a major factor that prevents Latina from getting various opportunities in the United States. In most cases, undocumented Latina immigrants are unable to secure jobs in Texas due to their inability to speak fluent English (Chumil, 2009). Most job opportunities in Texas need people with English proficiency thus leading to the disparity among the undocumented Latina immigrants. Lack of English proficiency has also prevented undocumented Latina immigrants from accessing higher education. Most higher education institutions in Texas use English in their learning thus preventing Latinos from being enrolled. English has been a major challenge for the Latinos to access various opportunities in Texas. They thus spend most of their time struggling to learn English.
Lack of English proficiency has a direct effect in reducing access to health care among undocumented Latina immigrants. It also has an indirect effect on their association with low rate of health insurance coverage. Most jobs opportunities available to undocumented immigrants who lack proficiency in English do not provide health insurance as an employment benefit. Most undocumented Latina immigrants work in private sectors due to their lack of English proficiency thus not entitled to health insurance benefits. Studies have indicated that about 57 percent of undocumented Latina immigrants who prefer Spanish are uninsured compared to 25 percent of those who prefer English (Garni, 2010).
Limited proficiency in English among undocumented Latina immigrants prevents their ability of seeking and obtaining heath care (Carrasquillo, Orav, Brennan, & Burstin, 2009). This is because their inability to understand English prevents them from accessing heath information from the media. They are thus unable to understand some of the health care policies in Texas such as Medicaid and Affordable Care Act. Lack of access to health information due to language...
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