Immigration and Related Issues

Psychology Opposes Discrimination

Psychologists are ethically guided to respect the fundamental rights, dignity and worth of all people, and we are committed to improving the conditions of individuals, groups and society as a whole.

Psychological research documents the unique stresses related to acculturation and trauma that many immigrants and their families encounter. Prejudice and discrimination at both the individual and institutional level have adverse cognitive, affective and behavioral effects for victims of discrimination — particularly for members of stigmatized groups. Research also shows that the ways in which people react to racial/ethnic differences may reveal racial/ethnic biases.

APA calls for increased research on how racial/ethnic profiling can affect individuals, communities of color, and law enforcement, as well as the development of strong community-police relationships and programs to help recognize and overcome this practice.

APA continues to advocate increased research to better our understanding of the deleterious effects of prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination upon both victims and perpetrators, and to help develop interventions to counteract them.

Resolutions Addressing Immigration and Related Issues

APA has long supported research and policy opposing discrimination and racial/ethnic prejudice. We adopted our first policy opposing discrimination based on race and religion in 1950. Since that time, the association has adopted numerous policies condemning “expressing prejudice, employing stereotypes, and engaging in discrimination in all their forms” (APA, 2006).

Advocacy Efforts Addressing Immigration and Related Issues

APA continues to build upon this strong foundation of work on immigration-related issues, advocating increased research to better our understanding of the consequences of prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination from a psychological perspective, and guiding policy development in this critical area.