Immigrant policies as health policies : state immigrant policy climates and health provider visits among U.S. immigrants
The geographic dispersion of the U.S. immigrant population has occurred alongside a dramatic increase in state-level immigration laws that has unfolded unevenly across states, creating markedly different state immigrant policy climates. Although not all such laws are health-related, they have potential implications for immigrants' health care utilization. Using data from the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation, we leverage the geographic variation in the restrictiveness of state immigrant policy climates to examine the association between state-level immigrant policies and health provider visits—a fundamental indicator of health care utilization—among immigrant adults. Results indicate that restrictive immigrant policy climates exacerbate nativity gaps in health provider visits among working-age adults and, to a lesser extent, among older adults. Our findings suggest that even immigrant policies not directly related to health have consequences for immigrants’ health care utilization.