By BRENDA BRAMBILA, ROSSANA COTO-BATRES, BRENDA GARCIA, LILIBETH MATA, and GLORIA RINCONI
Despite experiencing mental and physical health issues, many undocumented immigrants avoid seeking help due to the lack of access to health care and/or fear of deportation. Based on the Undocumented and Uninsured report:
- 71% of uninsured immigrant youth have an existing need to access a doctor or specialist about their own health; however, 53% stated that they have not seen a doctor for more than a year.
- 50% of uninsured immigrant youth delayed getting the medical care they needed. Of those, 96% reported the main reason was cost or lack of insurance.
- 74% of immigrant youth report they resort to band-aid care for services, such as emergency Medi-Cal, public hospitals, and community or county health clinics.
At My Undocumented Life blog, we are committed to providing resources for undocumented immigrants, not just in regards to educational opportunities and immigration news, but also when it comes to our health! We have identified dozens of resources that are available to all regardless of their immigration status. We have additional resources at our health page and we are continually expanding the page as more information comes in so be sure to return to it periodically.
“Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR)” This organization helps women who have been sexually abused or assaulted. It helps you with counseling sessions and it also gives support to families with legal help if the victim was undocumented. It is imperative for women, regardless of their immigration status, to know that there is a safe space in which they can receive support and help after they encounter an abusive situation.
“Borrego Health Clinic – Southern California” This Clinic offers an array of health services at a low cost. No insurance is required and proof of residency is only needed in the form of a bill with one’s address on it. They also provide ways to get medication at a lower cost and have social workers available to help with other needs requiring paperwork. Mobile Units are also available.
“HOPE’s California Healthcare Resource Guide for Undocumented Immigrants” In this website, you can access a pdf file (available in English and Spanish) with health resources available for people in California, for example, a list of clinics that offer free or low-cost services regardless of status. These clinics are then organized by region and types of services they offer. It also provides a FAQ column with questions that one may have about health care in general.
“La Clinica” La Clinica is a healthcare provider. They recently began accepting the Affordable Care Act, and find ways to help people that are undocumented and don’t qualify for health care. They develop plans of payment depending on an individual’s income and accessibility.
“Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center” This center provides health services that can include: dental, mental and physical health. These services are available for various age groups. The nurses speak Spanish, Tagalog and other languages. They also can help you set up payment options.
“Make the Road NY (Se Hace Camino NY)” MRNY seeks to “build the power of Latino and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services.” It is a non-profit organization composed of over 25,000 members from over 25 different countries. They have 4 different offices throughout the New York City metropolitan area and provide information about health resources available to the immigrant community in New York. Their work surrounding health includes leading workplace trainings on safety and health, increase access to translation services in the health care industry, help people access health services and public benefits, advocate for expansion of health accessibility to all New Yorkers, and assist enrollment in ACA health insurance.
“New York Immigration Coalition” NYC-based non-profit that seeks to “improve access to health care for low-income immigrants. We advocate for reform on systemic issues such as insurance eligibility, communication barriers, and flawed billing and enrollment practices.” They provide resources that help immigrants navigate access to health care services regardless of language spoken, immigration status, or income level.
“NYC Office of Citywide Health Insurance Access” Provides information of health resources that are available to immigrants, regardless of immigration status.
“Bethesda Clinic in Tyler” This clinic offers low cost health treatment without the need of insurance or legal status. It offers general family medicine and can also refer you to local etx doctors that will help you with treatment. This is a good resource for the undocumented communities because it gives low cost health services and can refer you to doctors in case of needed a specialist.
“Catholic Charities- Dallas” Catholic charities offers an array of services to the undocumented/DACA community. This is a great resource for the community because they provide legal services at low cost.They are trustworthy and all of their legal staff have been certified by the state.
“Dallas County Health & Human Services” This is a community clinic in Dallas, Texas with lab services that are affordable and do not require legal status. They offer STD testing, TB testing, Communicable diseases testing and also immunization shots. The nurses speak Spanish and can help with the paperwork.
“Genesis Womens Shelter” This shelter is for women who have been abused. They provide shelter, food, and counseling for women of all ages. The counseling is free and is also available in Spanish. They provide counseling for children too (up to 17 years of age).
“NET Health ETX” This health outreach center provides free breast/cervical cancer screening, TB shot, diabetes testing, and nutrition workshops.(also in Spanish). They can also refer you to local doctors in case of a health problem. They don’t require you to have health insurance or legal status to obtain any of their free screenings/testing.
“Parkland Hospital” This hospital provides medical care for all types of treatment regardless of legal status.(if you live in Dallas county). They offer the “Parkland Plan” that enables you to get treatment and your medications at a low-cost. They also offer surgeries and mental health support. They always have translators available. It is very resourceful to undocumented immigrants because the hospital has many clinics in Dallas that serve the community and will help us regardless of legal status.
“St. Paul Children’s Foundation/Clinics” This foundation has several clinics that provide medical and dental services for undocumented children. It is very low cost and also doubles as a food/clothes pantry. They will give you free food and clothes without requiring legal status.
“Trinity Mother Frances Hospital” This hospital now finances surgery for undocumented individuals without the need of insurances. They do not offer financing for treatment but will offer to finance your surgery if you need one.
“UT Health NorthEast Hospital and Clinics” This hospital and its clinics offer free prostate cancer screening, low cost diagnostic testing, and provide free asthma/allergy testing for children, all regardless of status. It is important to the undocumented community bc it is a trustworthy hospital that offers finance, low cost and free testing without the need for insurance or legal status.
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