by Eliel Acosta, Field Coordinator, Central PA
“You’re not poor because you’re an immigrant, you’re an immigrant because you’re poor” – Willie Baptist
What’s the impact of living as an undocumented immigrant on one’s mental health? Does having to worry about deportation of your family or friends, the fear of driving without a license, the stress of having poor or no access to healthcare and being separated from loved ones affect your mental state of health? These are the questions that I set out to answer as I began a research project as a student at Mount St. Mary’s University.
I grew up in Arendstville, Pennsylvania which is a small town outside of Gettysburg. Arendstville is known for its yearly Apple Harvest during the fall. Absent from the festival are the undocumented immigrant workers who pick and package the apple products. Immigration is a hot topic in this country that is used as a political football by both major parties. The real human beings who migrate are doing so out of desperation because their human needs are not being met. The laws about who and how many can legally migrate change over time, and they are made by elites, for political and economic reasons that benefit their interests. Immigrants are not causing the problems that citizens face, they are the affected by the same power structure that result in suffering and lack of human rights for US-born citizens. Read More