Wilner & O'Reilly, APLC
One Practice. One Focus. One Passion: Immigration Law.

The cost is high for denying immigrants medical care

While many California communities offer have offered healthcare access to immigrants, there are still a number of communities where immigrants have no available medical care. For example, the city of Sacramento cut healthcare to undocumented immigrants in 2009.

One family of immigrants survives by performing farm work. They have to treat themselves concerning ailments because they have no health coverage. A younger brother injured his back a few years and the problem has remained untreated. The 40-year-old father also injured his back and this forced him to at least temporarily stop working. It appears they did have health care at one point, but this coverage later ended.

Though the stated goal of the Affordable Care Act was to provide universal medical coverage, undocumented immigrants are not covered under the federal program. This forces many immigrants to rely upon charity or indigent care clinics where available. Even then many individuals cannot receive treatment until the illness is exacerbated. This can ultimately be self-defeating because as one advocate stated it will "cost a lot more to treat than to prevent." The short-term savings could never make up for the long-term costs.

We can only hope that comprehensive immigration reform is soon passed in the U.S. Attorneys will be there whenever the new laws are in place to represent the immigrant population.

There are 2.5 million individuals without documentation in California. Many of these individuals have children who were born in the United States and are U.S. citizens.
A sickness to the primary caregiver could ultimately result in families being homeless.

Source: News Review, "Sacramento still denies undocumented immigrants health care," Sasha Abramsky, June 19, 2014

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