Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Rural areas ill prepared to provide care for babies of non-English speaking, undocumented women

A rising number of children born to Hispanics who emigrated to the U.S. to rural areas are born disadvantaged because those areas are not equipped to provide services for non-English speaking—often undocumented—residents, says a study by Cornell University, Brigham Young University and the University of New Hampshire published in the journal Social Forces.

The study found that 40 percent of Hispanic babies are born into poverty, with the prospect of poverty especially high in rural areas. Researchers wrote, "Hispanics in new destinations often start well behind the starting line—in poverty and with limited opportunities for upward mobility and an inadequate welfare safety net."

Researchers say "population growth in the 2000s is occurring 'in many parts of rural America from Alabama to Nebraska [where] growing numbers of Hispanics provide a demographic lifeline to dying small towns,'" H. Roger Segelken reports for Phys.org. But the authors said those areas lack the resources—or inclination—to offer critical support services to those residents.

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