Immigrantsface numerous challenges in the United States. Most are submerged inpoverty and cannot afford special education. Others have limitedaccess to health care while others are wrongly detained or imprisonedwith the perception they cause insecurity. In a 2013 study byKauffman, Wiley, Bogan, and Brigham, research illustrated thatHispanic children engulfed in poverty are 30 percent higher thanCaucasian kids at 14 percent. According to this study, the Hispanickids are twice as likely to be stricken by poverty that the Caucasianchildren (Wiley, 2013). In addition to that, migrants are morelikely to face poverty challenges than natives. Though the studyrelates poverty to migrants, the most controversial aspect entailshealth care. Apart from the immigrants being poverty stricken, theyalso face challenges accessing health care.
Statementof the problem
Themajority of the immigrant populations lack the medical insurancecover. Low-income aliens are twice probable to be uninsured ascompared to low-income natives. Back in 2001, research indicated thatover 60 percent out of the 11 million low-income aliens lacked healthinsurance cover. In addition to that, only 13% received Medicaid. Thestatistics have been rising considerably even with the continuouscalls for health insurance covers. Lack of this insurance alsoresults in poorly constituted mechanisms to deal with variousdiseases. As a matter of fact, migrant workers are endangered sincemost of them work in farms. In the farm, they are exposed topesticides that are quite detrimental to their health. In a reportconducted by Farmworker Justice, it showed that the exposure topesticides endangers farm workers. Farmers who are exposed to thepesticides experience nausea, seizures, shortness of breath, andheadaches. The body also ascertained that the workers face long-termsuch as cancer. Research has also affirmed that pesticide-relatedailments are a major cause of acute morbidity, especially amongmigrant workers (Farmworkers Justice, 2013).
Mostof these farm workers are Mexican-born. According to Campana (2010),50 percent of the migrant workers are children aged between 6 and 14years. Most of them sneak into the country but do not bother to seekregistration. In fact, they have limited knowledge about registrationlet alone health insurance cover. Farm owners also utilize theunregistered workers without necessarily educating them on thevitality of the same. This is because farm owners deem it expensiveto register the migrant workers (Campaña, 2010). Apart from theworkers lacking health insurance cover, they work under unfavorableconditions. Pesticide poisons affect roughly 20,000 laborers annuallyaccording to approximations made by Farmworker Justice. However, thefigures could be greater given that not all the cases are reported.Some of the ways in which farm laborers get into contact with thepesticides include hand labor works in areas that have been treated,direct spray, exposure to pesticide residue, and aerial drift.Research has also affirmed that pesticide-grown crops havedetrimental effects on the consumers. The migrant workers also liveadjacent to the agricultural fields thereby they get into contactwith the pesticides often. Pesticide contact is an inevitable realityfor farmhands as well as their families since pesticides are in thesoils they cultivate, the air, water, and foods.
Ingeneral, the migrant families face numerous challenges especiallypertaining health services. Controversies mainly arise whenaddressing migrant worker policies concerning health. Others viewillegal immigrants should not be catered for in the health caresystem since they heighten health care costs. The claim that migrantsutilize medical services even though they are ineligible is quitecommon. Some even claim the migrants use the services more thaneverybody else. However, such sentiments are quite misleading andbased on assumptions that cannot be substantiated.
Asevidenced by research, claims of overutilization of health careservices by migrants are not accurate. In providing the solution tothe above notions, it is important to illustrate the facts asobtained by several scholars. The evidence will prove that healthcare expenditures are higher for native citizens than immigrantswithin the United States.
Accordingto the California Immigrant Policy Center, undocumented migrants havevery limited access to health care systems that are funded by thepublic. Apart from that, they are reluctant to utilize the servicessince they fear while others are confused over the eligibility rules.Health care services afforded to the undocumented migrants arelimited to public health practices such as immunization. They alsoget services during emergencies. However, the numbers looking forassistance are quite a few due to language barriers and confusion. Asportrayed by the research, migrants are less likely to utilizeemergency room as compared to the residents [ CITATION Cal10 l 1033 ].
Thoughundocumented immigrants without healthcare insurance covers are many,the population of U.S. citizens without insurance is much higher.Presently, over 46 million people are not insured in the U.S.Compared to the year 2000 this number represents a 6 millionincrease of uninsured people. Statistics also show that roughly 70%of the people without health care insurance cover are nativecitizens. Even though they are employed, factors such as heightenedhealth care costs as well as limited job-based insurance inhibitpeople from acquiring the covers. In the state of California, roughlythree out of four uninsured persons come from working families. Thefigures correlate with the national trends. Low-wage workers are alsoless likely to acquire health covers. Because migrants arerepresented among the low-wage workers, the absence of insurance is acommon issue. In most cases, they do not have the capability toafford individual coverage.
Healthcare expenses are higher for native citizens than migrants. Accordingto a 2005 study contained in the American Journal of Public Health,migrants do not impact adversely on the United States health carefacilities. The research affirmed that the migrants rarely imposeburdens related to finances. As a matter of fact, per capita, generalmedical expenses of migrants were 55 percent lower than nativecitizens. Even after conducting training on the importance of beinginsured, immigrants are less likely to utilize the facilities thancitizens. As mentioned earlier, factors such as confusion andlanguage barriers deter them from accessing the facilities. Most ofthem survive without preventive care or any medical attention unlessthe symptoms are severe enough to prevent them from working [ CITATION Car15 l 1033 ].
Thecore reason why people are uninsured is the heightened medical costsand not undocumented immigration. The health care insurance cover istypically based on employment. However, most of the individuals inthe U.S. are self-employed. Another majority are employed bycompanies that do not provide health insurance benefits. The rest whopossess job-based insurance find it hard to cater for the everincreasing premiums. Kaiser Commission affirmed in 2005 that economicchanges, labor market, and reduced job-based health insurance accountfor the increased levels of uninsured persons. The report does notsuggest that immigration trends lead to the heightened levels ofuninsured [ CITATION Cal10 l 1033 ].
Restrictinghealth care services for migrants would not prevent movement to theUnited States it only puts the communities at risk. Migrants do notcome to seek medical attention instead, they look for jobs.Therefore, restricting their access to health services will not detertheir migration. Policies that try to limit health services posesgreater threats to the individual as well as public health.
Politicalassertions have tried to suggest that immigrants are a burden to thecountry’s health care system. They state that immigrants receivebenefits that are not entitled to. For instance, they receive medicalservices like immunizations, emergency care, and other medical needs.Most of them are not insured hence burden the system whenever theyseek care. Other assertions suggest illegal migrants spread diseasessince they do not seek preventive medical services. In general, theclaims suggest that immigrants are the core cause of the financialburdens experienced in the health care system.
Theimpact of immigrants on the health care systems is rather intricateand cannot be generalized. This is because immigrants are clusteredinto several subgroups with each having varying effects. However, thenotion that migrants are a burden to the healthcare system ismisrepresented. As a matter of fact, they contribute towardsMedicare. In the Journal of General Internal Medicine, an articleaffirmed that undocumented migrant offered an additional $35.1billion towards the Medicare Trust Fund from 2001 to 2011. Eventhough they contribute immensely towards the health care system, theyare less protected by it. Migrant workers suffer in their householdsand only seek medical attention when the ailment is severe.Therefore, migrants do not adversely affect the healthcare system assuggested by some politicians [ CITATION Car15 l 1033 ].
California Immigrant Policy Center. (2010). Immigrants and the U.S. Health Care System.
Campaña, A. A. (2010). Migrant Farm Workers Exposed to Pesticides in Sinaloa, Mexico. Mexico.
Carter, R. (2015, October 21). The Impact of on Public Health Systems. Retrieved from The Impact of on Public Health Systems: http://inhomelandsecurity.com/the-impact-of-immigration-on-public-health-systems/
Farmworkers Justice. (2013). Exposed and Ignored: How Pesticides are endangering our nation`s farmworkers. .
Wiley, A. L. (2013). Disproportionate poverty, conservatism, and the disproportionate identification of minority students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Education & Treatment of Children,, 36(4), 29-50.