Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Teresa Morris


The focus of this study was to understand undocumented immigrants needs when striving to succeed socially, emotionally, and economically in the United States. Undocumented immigration is prevalent in this country and these individuals face fear of deportation, discrimination, language barriers, trauma and acculturative stress. Considering the challenges and mental health repercussions that undocumented immigrants experience; it is important to discover what can be done to improve their livelihood. A qualitative study was completed with participants that work with undocumented immigrants to better understand needs and barriers. The study found that legalization and lack of access to resources such as mental health, healthcare and legal services negatively impacted their wellbeing and livelihood. These findings can be utilized to provide culturally competent advocacy and services at the micro and macro social work practice level. Understanding what undocumented immigrants needs to succeed socially, emotionally, and economically can guide social workers to engage in macro work by advocating for changes in the law that can address social justice and human right issues affecting undocumented immigrants.