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Research Finding: Deportations Increase Foreclosures In Hispanic Population

 U.S. foreclosures fell to a 10 year low in 2016, but in Arizona, they are still rising. One researcher said

deportations play a part.

"We know that the recovery in Phoenix was a little bit longer and slower than in Southern California. We just suspect there's a connection that warrants further study," said Jacob Rugh, Professor at Brigham Young University, co-author of a study that found over the last decade, foreclosures on Hispanic homeowners happen at a higher rate.

Rugh said deportations exacerbate foreclosures. He said many households have multiple earners living together, both documented and undocumented, who contribute to paying mortgage fees. The real estate market collapse was partly responsible, but Rugh claims the increase in deportation efforts in particular geographies also play a large role.

“We did see in the data that it was worse in Maricopa County, Arizona, Phoenix, there are tens of thousands of immigrants deported. Almost all of them were Mexican and Central American,” Rugh said.

Rugh’s research, released in December, tested the link between immigrant deportations and foreclosures from 2005 to 2012. His theory is that deportations

increase

rates of foreclosure among Latinos by removing undocumented income earners from households.

His research used data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement filings by county across the U.S.

Rugh

said the results imply that local immigration enforcement plays an important role in understanding why Latinos experienced foreclosures most often.

He also cited data that show Hispanics were sold riskier mortgages like no-doc loans and no income-verification loans, which placed them at higher risk for foreclosure.

Heather van Blokland was a host at KJZZ from 2016 to 2021.