Any fair and sensible person can see the nation’s immigration system is flawed. Federal, state, and local governments seek out and arrest US citizens for supplying undocumented immigrants with access to medical services. Migrant worker health clinics are constantly being checked for undocumented immigrants, taking essential services away from them.
Access to health care should be available to all people. No one should be denied access to medical care, regardless of immigrant status. At the state level, health care seems to be patrolled too frequently and aggressively. Immigrants feel as if they are being watched and any move they make toward accessing health care could lead to their deportation. In addition, the authoritarian actions of denying health care essentially put targets on the backs of immigrants. As a result, both legal and undocumented immigrants hesitate whenever they are in need of medical services. Undocumented immigrants are forced to either cope with their medical problems on their own, or risk deportation for medical attention.
A current article by Kaiser Health News and USA Today (Kaiser Health News and USA Today) substantiates the effects federal, local and state governments have on immigrants’ health care. In Slocolmb, Alabama, health care services are brought to scared and needy immigrants. The purpose of these services are to protect the immigrant workers from going to a clinic, risking deportation and receiving no medical attention. These types of health clinics are what keep the nation’s food supply stable. By taking care of the people who harvest it, the food itself will not be effected. Even though services are provided, federal, state and local policies still effect the millions of immigrants who help support the nations economy.
Essentially, no laws should restrict anyone from access to health care. Whether someone is an undocumented immigrant or a legal citizen, health care services should be attainable for all people. Ultimately, no target should be placed on someone’s back based on their ability to show papers.
Even when these people are willing to go to hospitals for care, they often either cannot afford treatment or cannot take time off of work. I work at a gyn clinic and even when providers offer to do pro bono procedures, a surprising amount of patients decline saying that they can’t have paid leave to recover, and have to be able to do strenuous labor at work or else they will lose their job. Employers do not legally have to give domestic workers maternity leave or medical leave, and of course if someone is working under the table, the employer doesn’t have any real legal obligation. It’s a really tough situation that is sadly pretty common. I can’t imagine living with the amount of pain some of these uninsured women have to deal with while they go to work every day. It makes you realize that healthcare is truly a human right.
I agree with the points you raised. I think that healthcare is a huge issue with respect to immigrants. Many people do not realize the struggle associated with immigrants.
The points raised are well-supported. However, it is also important to look at the immigrant’s ability to afford for such services. Socioeconomic status of these immigrant’s only further develop the shyness from seeking out health services. As a society we should not only allow for these health services to be available, but we should also help ensure that they are accessible and affordable to these immigrants as well. After all, they are humans just like everyone else.