Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS)

Implications of Social and Legal Status on Immigrants' Health in Disaster Zones

This research conducted by Elizabeth Fussell and colleagues, highlights how immigrants who are linguistically isolated, have limited social networks, and lack legal immigration status experience unique health risks in disaster zones. Research on immigrants and disasters tends to focus on immigrants with these characteristics who are residents of disaster-affected areas, disaster recovery workers, or both. Fussell and colleagues review the sparse research literature and provide examples of innovative but underresourced programs that reduce immigrants’ exposure to disaster-related health hazards and economic exploitation in the recovery. They conclude with recommendations for advancing these initiatives while, simultaneously, addressing the anti-immigrant policies that contribute to these disaster-related inequities.