Living is an undocumented immigrant in Texas can take a toll on one’s mental health. The constant threat of deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement often leads to depression and other mental illnesses.
The current climate of anti-immigration policies and rhetoric has intensified in recent years. In addition, there is a higher frequency of ICE raids. This has resulted in a heightened fear of deportation among undocumented immigrants, according to USA Today. Many of these immigrants find it difficult to perform routine daily activities, which have a negative effect on their mental health. Reports of depression, stress, low-self-esteem and other issues are not uncommon.
It is rare for undocumented immigrants to seek mental health treatment. In many cases, they do not have health care for psychological counseling, therapy or medications. In response, there are individuals within the immigrant community providing alternative treatments. For instance, there is an emphasis on self-care that includes therapeutic activities such as yoga and meditative breathing.
Trump’s veto of DACA has helped fuel immigrant fears about deportation. The deportation permit, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, allowed the children of undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. without threats of deportation. Although undocumented immigrants feel tremendous pressure under Trump’s administration, this crackdown on undocumented immigration also took place under the administrations of President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. For example, during Obama’s tenure the number of deportations exceeded that of his predecessors.
Undocumented immigrants face many challenges trying to live productive lives while battling fears of deportation. Immigrants dealing with this situation may benefit from a consultation with an immigration attorney.