Warning sign posted at the international boundary between the United States and Canada in Point Roberts, Washington. (photo via Wikimedia Commons.)

Warning sign posted at the international boundary between the United States and Canada in Point Roberts, Washington. (photo via Wikimedia Commons.)

In past months, I’ve been privileged to share recent research on the lives of migrants. The work has been done by Dr. Emily Bashah and her colleagues Louise M. Baca and Karen L. Suyemoto. Focused on “the lived experiences of undocumented immigrants,” the work is compelling, timely, and accessible to non-researchers (not always easy to do!).

(You can read my previous posts here and here.)

Today, I share their third and final publication that has been published in Psychology Today on the narrative qualitative themes.

This essay is titled “Nature of Survival: Emerging themes from migrant journeywomen and implications for social policy.” If you’re in a hurry, jump to the bottom of their post where they detail the implications. As the authors write, “As evidenced by the women’s testimonial themes, more just and humane policies are needed to provide immigrants rights to live and work in the U.S. with legal options and protections.”

Once again, if you have thoughts on how we could cover the legal aspects of immigration in a thoughtful and compelling way, write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

Border fence separating Mexico and United States.

Border fence separating Mexico and United States.

Central American migrants in southern Mexico, 2008 (Photo: Peter Haden, Wikimedia Commons).

Central American migrants in southern Mexico, 2008 (Photo: Peter Haden, Wikimedia Commons).

About a month ago, I was pleased to share some research that examines “the lived experiences of undocumented immigrants.” Written by Dr. Emily Bashah and colleagues, it yielded a view into a topic that is too little addressed—the challenges faced by Latinas in their legal and geographic journey.

I am happy to share a second post with you today, also by Dr. Bashah, who lives and works here in Arizona. It is a follow-up to her previous coverage, and it examines “the immigrant women’s core narrative” in Psychology Today.

You’ll see that what these researchers seek to do is to make visible the migrants’ own stories, which rarely factor into public policy dialogues. Here is how the post opens (citations omitted here):

Dr. Emily Bashah

Dr. Emily Bashah

“Undocumented Latinas who cross the Southwestern border into the United States face a myriad of challenges. Among the risks psychological research has identified: trauma, abuse, violence, xenophobia, acculturative stress …, oppression, and lack of legal protection. With that in mind, we wanted to understand the lived experiences of undocumented Latinas who were detained and deported, with particular focus on the challenges they faced and the resiliency that facilitated their survival. The Kino Border Initiative, an organization that provides humanitarian aid in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, supplied a randomized sample … of testimonials from deported Latinas living in a women’s shelter within 2010-2011.”

“The following passages are a compilation of major themes generated from the women’s stories. Identifying information has been redacted to protect respondents’ confidentiality, while also maintaining the richness of qualitative testimonials in original narrative form.”

Read the whole post here.

If you have thoughts on how we could cover the legal aspects of immigration in a thoughtful and compelling way, write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

The experience of some immigrants in the Southwest is described in new research.

The experience of some immigrants in the Southwest is described in new research.

Last month, I had the pleasure to attend an event commemorating the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project. (In an upcoming issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine, we hope to cover their 25th anniversary year.) It’s always great to catch up with the staff and lawyers who work hard to ensure fair processes and aim for optimal outcomes for their clients.

Dr. Emily Bashah

Dr. Emily Bashah

While at the gathering hosted by Lewis Roca Rothgerber, I met a researcher who has been studying the “lived experiences of undocumented immigrants.” Dr. Emily Bashah, with her colleagues, has spoken with many of those who have sought a better life through migration.

I learned that she not only does research on important public issues, but she is adept at synopsizing them into readable blog posts.

Today, I invite you to read one of her posts, written by Emily and colleagues Lois M. Baca and Karen L. Suyemoto. It’s titled “Crossing the Line,” and it allows the migrants to describe their own sometimes harrowing experiences.

As the researchers note:

“Although not all undocumented immigrants who cross the Southwest border face coercion, exploitation, or other violations of human rights that constitute human and sex trafficking, the risks are prevalent.”

Among the compelling stories, the blog post also shared the Power and Control Wheel, which is stunning in its stark recitation of the variety of abuses that immigrant women and children may face.

Source: National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. (2012). Immigrant power and control wheel

Immigrant power and control wheel. Source: National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. (2012).

Dr. Bashah tells me that she also plans to publish another blog that more specifically speaks to the deported Latinas’ lived experiences. I’ll share that when I see it.