Heide Castañeda

Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of South Florida-Tampa
Chapter Member: Florida SSN

About Heide

Castañeda’s areas of expertise include migration, citizenship, and how legal institutions shape everyday experiences of immigrant communities. Her book, Borders of Belonging: Struggle and Solidarity in Mixed-Status Immigrant Families (2019), examines the impact of immigration policies and practices not only on undocumented migrants, but also on their family members, including US citizens. Recent studies examine mixed-status immigrant families; U.S./Mexico border enforcement; the experiences of immigrant youth; and transit migration to destinations in the United States and Europe. Castañeda has worked with community organizations including United We Dream, Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), and La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE).





No Jargon Podcast

In the News

Opinion: "What Has the Pandemic Taught Us About Borders?," Heide Castañeda, Tampa Bay Times, February 11, 2022.
Quoted by Tom Woolfe in "A Perfect Storm for DACA Recipients and Their Families," USF Magazine, April 10, 2021.
Opinion: "Immigrant Communities in the Covid-19 Pandemic: Old and New Insights on Mobility, Bordering Regimes, and Social Inequality," Heide Castañeda (with William D. Lopez), items Insights from the Social Sciences, October 29, 2020.
Opinion: "Borders of Belonging: Mixed-Status Families and the Impacts of Family Separation on Population Health," Heide Castañeda, Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science, November 18, 2019.
Quoted by Gillian Friedman in "President Trump Ramped up Rhetoric on Immigration Before the Midterms. Did it Work?," Deseret News, November 11, 2018.
Opinion: "With Attention Elsewhere, Healthcare for Millions Quietly Still at Risk," Heide Castañeda (with Jessica Mulligan and Mark Schuller), Huffpost, June 2, 2017.
Opinion: "With Attention Elsewhere, Healthcare for Millions Quietly Still at Risk," Heide Castañeda (with Jessica Mulligan and Mark Schuller), HuffPost, June 2, 2017.
Guest on WNYC: The Leonard Lopate Show, December 16, 2016.
Quoted by Inara Verzemnieks in "Life in ObamaCare’s Dead Zone," New York Times, December 6, 2016.
Research discussed by Inara Verzemnieks, in "Life in ObamaCare's Dead Zone," New York Times Magazine, December 6, 2016.
Opinion: "How the Supreme Court Decision on United States v. Texas Will Affect Millions of Families," Heide Castañeda, The Conversation, June 16, 2016.
Opinion: "Why Deferred Action is Important," Heide Castañeda, Rio Grande Guardian, April 19, 2016.
Opinion: "American Politicians' Reactions to Refugees Echo Past Xenophobia: Which Side of History Do We Want to Be On?," Heide Castañeda (with Seth M. Holmes and Jennifer Burrell), Huffington Post, November 20, 2015.
Quoted by Marvin Félix and Mike Clary in "The Uncertain Future of Undocumented Children," Sun Sentinel, March 25, 2015.
Quoted by Martin Z. Braun in "De Blasio Gathers Mayors to Support Obama Immigration Order," Bloomberg, December 8, 2014.
Opinion: "From Alienation to Protection: Central American Child Migration," Heide Castañeda (with Lauren Heidbrink and Kristin Yarris), Access Denied: A Conversation on Unauthorized Im/migration and Health, September 4, 2014.
Opinion: "Encounters of Violence and Care: Central American Transit Migration through Mexico," Heide Castañeda (with Kristin Yarris), Somatosphere, September 2, 2014.
Interviewed in "Tales from the Border: USF Professor Visits Texas and Mexico," WUSF News, August 6, 2014.
Interviewed in "Zu Gast: Heide Castañeda," Der Taggesspiegel, June 23, 2012.
Research discussed by Patricia Leigh Brown, in "Grueling Life of Workers behind Scene at Racetrack," San Francisco Chronicle, September 16, 2011.
Quoted by in "Respect Cultural Differences with Care," Patient Education Management, January 1, 2011.
Opinion: "Study Finds That Dental Literacy is Not the Problem," Heide Castañeda, Streamline: The Migrant Health News Source, November/December 2010.


" Unequal Coverage: The Experience of Health Care Reform in the United States" (with Jessica M. Mulligan) (NYU Press, 2017, paperback 2017).

Unequal Coverage documents the everyday experiences of individuals and families across the U.S. as they attempted to access coverage and care in the five years following the passage of the ACA.It argues that while the Affordable Care Act succeeded in expanding access to care, it did so unevenly, ultimately also generating inequality and stratification.

"Borders of Belonging: Struggle and Solidarity in Mixed-Status Immigrant Families" (Stanford University Press, 2019).

Borders of Belonging investigates a pressing but previously unexplored aspect of immigration in America—the impact of immigration policies and practices not only on undocumented migrants, but also on their family members, some of whom possess a form of legal status. Heide Castañeda reveals the trauma, distress, and inequalities that occur daily, alongside the stratification of particular family members' access to resources like education, employment, and health care.

"Is Coverage Enough? Persistent Health Disparities in Marginalised Latino Border Communities" Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 43, no. 12 (2017): 2003-2019.

Presents results from a longitudinal , five-year ethnographic study of healthcare access in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Explores reasons why this region along the U.S./Mexico border has the highest rate of uninsured persons in the country and remains among the most medically underserved, despite some increases in coverage accompanying the Affordable Care Act. Argues that the convergence of healthcare and immigration policy, framed by a unique regional history and social environment, has had multiple direct and indirect impacts on health and healthcare access.

"Immigration as a Social Determinant of Health" (with Seth M. Holmes, Daniel Madrigal, Maria-Elena Young, Naomi Beyeler, and James Quesada). Annual Review of Public Health 36 (2016): 375-392.

Examines primary frameworks used in recent public health literature on the health of immigrant populations and argues for a broader examination of immigration as both socially determined and a social determinant of health.

"Discourses of Displacement and Deservingness: Interrogating Distinctions between 'Economic' and 'Forced' Migration" (with Kristin Yarris). International Migration 53, no. 3 (2014): 64-69.

Examines the discursive distinction between “voluntary” and “forced” migration and the consequences of this dichotomy for migrants’ experiences in host countries.

"Health Care Access for Latino Mixed-Status Families: Barriers, Strategies, and Implications for Reform" (with Milena A. Melo). American Behavioral Scientist (2014).
Reports on health care seeking experiences of mixed-status families and the impact of the recent health care reform (Affordable Care Act, or ACA).
"Assessing the 2010 Affordable Care Act: Perspectives of Future Health Care Professionals" (with Nolan S. Kline, Mackenzie Rapp, Nicole Demetriou, Naheed Ahmed, Isabella Chan, Theresa Crocker, Nathaniel Dicky, Patrick Dillon, Hilary Dotson, Jordana Frost, Natalie Hobbs, Emily Koby Novicki, Philip McNab, Francisco Montiel-Ishino, and Colleen Timmons). Practicing Anthropology 33, no. 4 (2011): 44-48.
Examines the perspectives of future healthcare professionals who will enter the workforce around the time of the Affordable Care Act’s implementation.
"False Hope: Effects of Social Class and Health Policy on Oral Health Inequalities for Migrant Farmworker Families" (with Iraida Carrion, Nolan S. Kline, and Dinorah Martinez Tyson). Social Science & Medicine 71, no. 11 (2010): 2028-2037.
Discusses unmet dental health needs of children in migrant farmworker families, and argues that structural features and ineffective policies contribute to oral health care disparities.
"Health Concerns of Migrant Backstretch Workers at Horse Racetracks" (with Nolan S. Kline and Nathaniel Dickey). Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 21, no. 1 (2010): 489-503.
Examines the largely itinerant community of backstretch workers and their health concerns, which reflect the interplay between occupation and structural factors of poverty, stress, poor living conditions, and diet.