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Access to healthcare should be seen as a right for every person regardless of legal status. An efficient healthcare system relies on frequent check-ins instead of delayed interventions, which can prove costly both physically and financially for the patient. This presentation investigates alternative medicine being replaced by preventive, primary healthcare and its impacts among the undocumented immigrant population in the United States. For a demographic that does not have any access to programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and Obamacare, undoumented immigrants have had to find more accessible and financially feasible methods of care. This presentation argues that while these alternative sources of medicine provide a basic level of medical care, they are insufficient and cannot act as a substitute for universal federal healthcare programs that encompass the entire American population. Some undocumented immigrants may rely on underground pharmacies for prescription drugs while others travel to Mexico for medical and/or dental care because a lower standard of care is a better option than no care at all. Primary sources consist of government websites describing state healthcare initiatives for undocumented immigrants, and an interview about the role community organizations play in closing gaps of healthcare inequity. Secondary sources include journal articles analyzing immigrant and refugee health assigning terms like “violence of uncertainty” that can be a direct cause of posttraumatic stress disorder from being held in detention centers. This presentation asserts a relationship between increasing diversity among healthcare providers and the narrowing of gaps in quality of care for undocumented immigrants. The multitude of linguistic and cultural barriers reduce the quality of care of undocumented immigrants. As undocumented immigrants and DACA recipients gain opportunities to go to medical school, more barriers get eliminated. This research presentation analyzes how to improve the standard of life of the undocumented population through healthcare access.



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Healthcare Inequity Among Undocumented Immigrants