Study Shows Undocumented Immigrants Relying On 'Luck' To Stay Healthy

Photo credit: Newmedia

Photo credit: Newmedia

According to the New America Media News Report by Viji Sundaram undocumented immigrants’ ability to stay healthy might come down to a matter of luck. That’s one of the findings that emerged from a study released this week by The Greenlining Institute, a national research and advocacy organization.

Prohibitive costs, language barriers, fear of outing themselves as undocumented and a perceived lack of cultural competency among health care providers were among the reasons undocumented immigrants gave for not seeking timely medical care when they fell sick. 

Those who managed to stay healthy said it was purely because of luck, a remark that should make Americans cringe, given that the United States has one of the most advanced health care systems in the world, asserted Anthony Galace, a fellow at Greenlining and the report’s author.

“This notion of luck just shows how unjust and unethical the system is,” Galace said. “I believe that as a state we can all be healthy, and the only way we can be healthy is if we are all given easy access to health care.”

For the study, Galace interviewed 13 undocumented immigrants from different ethnicities – four Mexican, two Salvadoran, two Korean, one Vietnamese, one Chinese, one Nigerian and two Filipino – all between 18 and 52 years, living in California and from low-income backgrounds. 

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