top of page

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 conducted a follow-up study to explore how ACA implementation has transformed immigrants' experiences applying for and access coverage and care.  I am currently collecting a final set of data to assess how rising anti-immigrant policy and rhetoric and ACA repeal attempts are re-shaping Boston immigrants' healthcare access.


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, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, American Sociological Association, National Science Foundation, and Ford Foundation.




"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:

"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:


“Ethnoracial Inequality and Insurance Coverage among Latino Young Adults” with Veronica Terriquez (1st author), 2016. Social Science & Medicine 168: 150-158, Published online Sep. 20, DOI:

Falling through the Coverage Cracks: How Documentation Status
Minimizes Immigrants’ Access to Health Care," 2017,  Journal of Health Policy, Politics, and Law, published online June 29, at DOI:


“Still Left Out: Health Care Stratification under the Affordable Care Act,” 2017, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, DOI:

“Health Care, Immigrants and Minorities: Lessons from the Affordable Care Act in the United States,” 2017,  Special Issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Co-guest Editor with Helen Marrow, DOI:


“Stratification and Universality: Immigrants and Barriers to Coverage in Massachusetts,” 2018, Chapter 3 in Unequal Coverage: The Experience of Health Care Reform in the United States, editors Heide Castañeda and Jessica Mulligan, In Press with NYU Press.

“Falling through the Coverage Cracks: How Documentation Status Minimizes Immigrants’ Access to Health Care,” 2017, Journal of Health Policy, Politics, and Law 42:961-984, DOI: 10.1215/03616878-394049.

Policy Briefs

“Why Anti-Immigrant Policies Matter for Population Health.” Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science Blog Post, April 8, 2019 available at

"U.S. Health Policy and Population Health: Where We Are Now and Where We're Headed." Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Scientists Blog Post, June 12, 2017 available at

Recent Presentations and Invited Talks

“ ‘Race-ing’ Immigration and Citizenship: Life along the Racialized Documentation Status Continuum.” Sociology Department Colloquium, Wellesley College, November 11, 2020.

“ ‘Race-ing’ Documentation Status: Social Inequality along the Racialized Documentation Status Continuum.” Center for Migration and Development, Princeton University, October 11, 2020.

(Not) All In: Immigrant, Exclusion and Health Care in America's City on a Hill." Health Law Roundtable, Northeastern University School of Law, February 13.


Public Engagement

"While Tackling Police Reform, Don't Ignore Crucial Bills on Immigrant Rights." CommonWealth Magazine, July 20, 2020.

"Being an Immigrant with Limited Social Protections is a Killer during a Pandemic Too." American Sociological Association Footnotes, May/June 2020.

"Trump's Immigration Policies are Making the Coronavirus Pandemic Worse." Newsweek Op-ed, April 24, 2020.

"Unpacking the Invisible Citizenship Knapsack." Contexts Blog Post, April 16, 2020.


Interviews/Quotes in National Media


Jaradat, Lya. 2020. “When Churches Turn into COVID-19 Testing Sites.” Deseret News, November 7, 2020.  


Lydia Wheeler. 2020. “High Court Saves Jobs of ‘Dreamers’ on Pandemic’s Frontlines.” Bloomberg Law, June 18, 2020..


Jeremy Raff. 2020. "Where Fears of Deportation Made the Pandemic Worse." The Atlantic, May 29, 2020. 

Ed Yong. 2020. "We Live in a Patchwork Pandemic." The Atlantic, May 20, 2020. 



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

Volunteering at the Brazilian Women's Group in MA

bottom of page