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The aims of this project are to more comprehensively examine MA health policy, its similarities to the ACA, and how immigrants in MA navigate the state's healthcare system under the MA and ACA reforms. From 2011-2013, I conducted 70 qualitative interviews in English, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish with Brazilian and Dominican immigrants, healthcare providers who serve immigrant and minority populations, and leaders of immigrant and health organizations in Boston under the MA reform. From 2015-2016, I am conducting a follow-up study to explore how ACA implementation has transformed immigrants' experiences applying for and access coverage and care.  


In addition to asking immigrant respondents about their current health outcomes and experiences accessing healthcare in the U.S., I also inquire about their pre-migration health status, and experiences with the healthcare systems in Brazil and the Dominican Republic. This has allowed me to explore how they "transnationally" negotiate their health "here" in the U.S. and "there" in their home countries in light of the de jure and de facto discrimination that some experience as primarily undocumented immigrants of color.


Funding for this project came from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Scholars Program.




"Frozen Out: Unauthorized Immigrants' Access to Care after Healthcare Reforms" with Helen Marrow (1st author), 2015, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 41:2253-2273. Published online at DOI: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1369183X.2015.1051465#.Va_hn_lVhBc


"What Healthcare Rform Means for Immigrants: A Comparison of the Massachusetts and Affordable Care Act Health Reform Policies,  2016, Journal of Health Policy, Politics, and Law 41:101-116. Published online at DOI: http://jhppl.dukejournals.org/content/41/1/101.full.pdf+html.


Manuscripts in Progress

 “Insurance Coverage among Latino Young Adults during

the Early Stages of ACA Implementation” with Veronica Terriquez (1st author), revise and resubmit.


“The Growing Citizen-Noncitizen Divide: Life along the Documentation Status Continuum.”


“Examining Barriers to Health Care for Immigrants in Boston under the 'Universal' Massachusetts Reform.”


 “Citizenship Matters: Examining Health Service Use Differences between U.S. and Foreign-Born Latinos” with Margarita Alegria (2nd author). 


Policy Brief

“How Health Reform Excludes UnauthorizedImmigrants-And Why That Needs to Change.” With Helen Marrow, SSN Key Findings (July), Available at 


Recent Presentations and Invited Talks


“The Growing Citizen-Noncitizen Divide: Health Care along the Documentation Status Continuum.” American Dilemmas Seminar, Political Science Department, Brown University, Providence, RI, February 24, 2016.


“Health Care along the Racialized Documentation Status Continuum.” Race and Health Panel at Rethinking Race: Sociology 100th Anniversary Symposium, University of Southern California School of Law, Los Angeles, October 29, 2015.


“Immigrants’ Barriers to Health Care in Boston under ‘Universal’ Coverage.” Transformations in Social Citizenship: Stratification, Risk, and Responsibility in Health Care Reform Seminar, School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe, October 6.










Immigrants' Health and Healthcare Access in the U.S.

Volunteering at the Brazilian Women's Group in MA

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