70% of Latino and Asian immigrants in California saw workplace discrimination, UCLA study finds

70% of Latino and Asian immigrants in California saw workplace discrimination, UCLA study finds
Jiselle Lee
November 9, 2021
A new study released on Monday by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) found that 70% of Latino and Asian immigrants believe that there is anti-immigrant discrimination in the California workplace.
Research: The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research surveyed 2,000 immigrants living in California for the study.
  • A press release from the university stated that the study’s findings are laid out in two fact sheets: one focusing on immigrants’ negative perceptions of the immigrant experience overall in California and another that focuses on the group’s experiences with law and immigration enforcement.
  • Seventy percent of Latino and Asian immigrants have perceived racial discrimination at work, according to the report.
  • Sixty-five percent of these California immigrants felt that immigrants would be impeded from gaining U.S. citizenship if they applied for government income assistance, health care, food programs and housing aid. However, the study noted that these beliefs were based on misinformation in some cases.
  • Additionally, 42% of Latino immigrants and 13% of Asian immigrants said they personally knew someone who had been deported from the U.S.
  • According to the report, more Latino immigrants reported that they had been racially profiled (16%) than Asian immigrants (10%).
  • Latino immigrants were more likely than Asian immigrants to report that they have perceived racial workplace discrimination, health care inequity, barriers to legal status, and a lack of safety when asking for help from police. They also were more likely to report that they have seen immigrants stopped by immigration officials when traveling.
  • In addition, Asian immigrants were more likely to report that immigrants were unsafe due to immigration officials in their neighborhoods.
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  • The report found differences in immigrants’ experiences with law enforcement in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley.
  • Immigrants reported “more direct interactions” with immigration and law enforcement in the San Joaquin Valley than those living in the other two regions.
  • Portions of San Joaquin Valley, Southern California and Bay Area residents also reported experiencing racial profiling from police, 17%, 14% and 12%, respectively.
  • According to the study, researchers were motivated to look into immigrants’ perceptions because 25% of U.S. immigrants live in California, and Latinos and Asians make up the two largest groups of immigrants in the state.
  • “It’s critical for policymakers, community organizations and other stakeholders to understand immigrants’ experiences,” said Nadereh Pourat, associate director of the Center and lead author of the report. “Those experiences can impact immigrants’ health and overall well-being, which in turn can contribute to health inequity throughout our state and the country overall.”
The reports are the first of a series to emerge from the Center for Health Policy Research’s Research on Immigrant Health and State Policy Study, or RIGHTS.
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