Objectives: We examined the impact of Arizona's "Supporting Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act" (SB 1070, enacted July 29, 2010) on the utilization of preventive health care and public assistance among Mexican-origin families.
Methods: Data came from 142 adolescent mothers and 137 mother figures who participated in a quasi-experimental, ongoing longitudinal study of the health and development of Mexican-origin adolescent mothers and their infants (4 waves; March 2007-December 2011). We used general estimating equations to determine whether utilization of preventive health care and public assistance differed before versus after SB 1070's enactment.
Results: Adolescents reported declines in use of public assistance and were less likely to take their baby to the doctor; compared with older adolescents, younger adolescents were less likely to use preventive health care after SB 1070. Mother figures were less likely to use public assistance after SB 1070 if they were born in the United States and if their post-SB 1070 interview was closer to the law's enactment.
Conclusions: Findings suggest that immigration policies such as SB 1070 may contribute to decreases in use of preventive health care and public assistance among high-risk populations.