Authors: Aida Guhlincozzi*, University of Illinois
Topics: Ethnicity and Race, Medical and Health Geography
Keywords: fear in public space, Latinx Geographies, immigration, healthcare accessibility
Session Type: Paper
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Edgewood AB, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
This paper expands on theoretical frameworks about how Latinx immigrants’ interactions with space can be compromised due to perceptions of hypervisibility in the United States in relation to the current political climate. The fear of being in public spaces stems from the negative consequences that interactions with public spaces can have for Latinx immigrants due to a lack of citizenship status in the United States, and can prevent access to important resources, including healthcare resources, in the communities where they live. This paper develops a conceptual framework that describes how political climate affects Latinx immigrants’ perceptions of space and the resulting effects on healthcare access. Feedback from Latinx immigrants in suburban Chicago about their perceptions of healthcare facility spaces in the United States is included to determine if fear or other factors do or do not prevent them from accessing healthcare. These experiences address the idea that the citizenship status of a person, and the governmental structures that make people with non-citizenship status vulnerable can affect their comfort within healthcare spaces. Using geographic ideas of context, composition, and the political and economic structural forces shaping healthcare and immigration policy, this paper examines how fears and perceptions of space constrain healthcare accessibility for Latinx immigrants, who already lack access due to not being covered under the Affordable Care Act.