About the Peeler Immigration Lab

The Peeler Immigration Lab is a research and advocacy lab that focuses on the intersection of the U.S. immigration system and healthcare, integrating publicly accessible health information and participant-based research with key stakeholders to identify opportunities for synergistic policy reform. The lab specifically focuses on human rights issues and healthcare access affecting individuals held in migrant detention centers.

PIL came together organically during the winter of 2020 initially as a research endeavor to add further evidence to the conversation about the inequities in care and rights suffered by relief-seeking immigrants in the United States. With this goal in mind, PIL’s inaugural research project was to better understand the conditions experienced by immigrants within Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study lead to the report “Praying for Hand Soap and Masks: Health and Human Rights Violations in U.S. Immigration Detention during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” published by Physicians for Human Rights.

At PIL, we believe in a multi-pronged approach to improve the health and health rights of relief-seeking immigrants in the U.S. or at our borders. This approach includes quantitative and qualitative research, frequent analysis of current events and writing of evidence-based editorials, direct outreach to lawmakers, community organizers, and other partners and stakeholders, and a general philosophy of being open to new ideas and initiatives that will further inform the conversation with real-time results. 

PIL works closely with various partners, including those at Harvard Medical School, Harvard Law School, & Physicians for Human Rights. 

Please reach out to join us in this mission!