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Immigration, Health & Work: The Facts Behind the Myths

October 1, 2007

Research Report

Authors: Steven P. Wallace, PhD, Xochitl Castaneda, Sylvia Guendelman, D. Imelda Padilla-Frausto, PhD, MPH, Emily Felt

A collaboration of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and the Health Initiative of the Americas, this report explores the health care challenges faced by Latin American immigrants, and Mexican immigrants in particular. The report dispels the common misperception that these immigrants come to the United States primarily to seek health services.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Latino immigrants come to the United States to work

  • The U.S. relies on Mexican immigrant workers in agriculture, construction and service jobs

  • These jobs pay very low wages and rarely offer health insurance

  • These jobs have higher levels of occupational health risk

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