Pilot Grants

Understanding the Impacts of Sanctuary Immigration Policies on Latinx Population Health

Statement of Problem

Evidence suggests that immigration enforcement and policies directly and indirectly affect many families in the U.S., yet little is known about the consequences of these policies for children’s health. Some communities have set up sanctuary policies, which limit collaborations between local authority and federal immigration enforcement, but we've yet to fully understand how such policies impact residents’ health, particularly those at greatest risk of detention and/or deportation.


Our team mapped and described sanctuary areas in the United States and assessed their impact on Latinx population health. To do this, we built a novel, merged national dataset that links demographic information, birth outcomes and data on sanctuary policies.

This allowed us to conduct content, geographic and temporal analyses of sanctuary policies as they relate to Latinx population demographics. Finally, we conducted a quasi-experimental study to assess how the adoption of sanctuary policies impacts the birth outcomes of Latina women.  

Our hope is that findings from this study can inform immigration policy at local and national levels, and provide innovative geocoded database tools and an agenda for future research aimed at evaluating the links between immigration policy and population health.

Next Steps

We plan to utilize this unique dataset for future assessments of how other child, aging and family health outcomes are impacted by sanctuary policies. Ultimately, we hope our findings will contribute to an increased understanding of immigration, immigration status and immigration policies as social, but also political, determinants of health.

This pilot grant project was completed in October 2021.

Suggested Citation

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PolicyLab. Understanding the Impacts of Sanctuary Immigration Policies on Latinx Population Health [Online]. Available at: http://www.policylab.chop.edu [Accessed: plug in date accessed here]. 

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