Health Inequities Among Latinos/Hispanics: Documentation Status as a Determinant of Health

Jacqueline Cabral, Adolfo G. Cuevas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Hispanic/Latino population is the largest minority group in the USA. Research has documented health disadvantages of undocumented Latinos/Hispanics compared to their documented counterparts. The economic and social conditions that influence immigrant health may operate differently for undocumented immigrants compared to their documented counterparts. Access to healthcare, access to health-protective resources (social, economic, and political contributors), and immigration enforcement actions are three mechanisms that affect immigrants and contribute to the social and health inequities within the Latino/Hispanic population. We argue that social factors within these three mechanisms distinctly affect undocumented immigrants. We discuss these factors by synthesizing the existing literature on documentation status and health. In doing so, we highlight opportunities for future research and provide recommendations for policies and interventions that can ease the taxing effects of documentation status on health among Latinos/Hispanics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-879
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Documentation status
  • Health
  • Hispanics/Latinos
  • Immigrants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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