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Grand Canyon University Medical Services for Undocumented Immigrants Response

respond to the following discussion post as a peer commenting on the original post. use at least 1 reference and a 150-200 word count. ( 1 posts

The United States of America has the largest non-citizen population in the world. In 2014, there were 42 million immigrants in the U.S., making up 13.2% of the people; 47% of these immigrants are citizens while 3.5% remain undocumented (Parmet et al., 2017, p. 55). Many immigrants relocate to the United States for better opportunities for themselves and their families. Still, even with better income and paying taxes, the immigrant population faces some policy and health system barriers.

According to Hacker et al. (2015), some of the health system barriers include external resource constraints, costs to the individual, discrimination, and high bureaucratic requirements. Undocumented immigrants are more likely to have jobs that do not pay well and do not offer insurance coverage for their employees. When an immigrant can purchase private insurance, it is often too high to maintain. Immigrants may receive health care services through the national system of federally qualified health care centers (FQHCs), which provide health care for all medically underserved populations in the United States. However, FQHCs are currently only located in one-quarter of the areas designated as medically underserved, providing primary, preventive, and some specialty services, requiring patients to go elsewhere for specialty care unavailable in FQHCs (Marrow & Joseph, 2015). The requirements for proving income and residency eligibility, combined with low fee-for-service costs, are also barriers that keep many unauthorized immigrants away (Marrow & Joseph, 2015). Evidence has shown that when undocumented immigrants can receive health care services through FQHCs, gatekeeping and brokerage processes generate inequality and churning across the system, limiting progress in outcomes (Marrow & Joseph, 2015).

There is no doubt that the surge in the immigrant population presents U.S. health institutions with a series of challenges. I think legal status should not deter people from accessing health care, especially when it is a life-and-death situation. Legal status as a prerequisite for coverage could make undocumented immigrants reluctant to approach any official-looking institution for fear of detention and deportation. Consequently, they commonly end up at the emergency room or transmit transmissible diseases to people in our communities. It may cost the taxpayers, federal and the state government more to control or minimize the spread of that transmission in the long term.


Hacker, K., Anies, M., Folb, B. L., & Zallman, L. (2015). Barriers to health care for undocumented immigrants: a literature review. Risk management and healthcare policy, 8, 175–183. doi:10.2147/RMHP.S70173

Marrow, H. B., & Joseph, T. D. (2015). Excluded and Frozen Out: Unauthorised Immigrants’ (Non)Access to Care after U.S. Health Care Reform. Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies, 41(14), 2253–2273. https://doi-

Parmet, W. E., Sainsbury-Wong, L., & Prabhu, M. (2017). Immigration and Health: Law, Policy, and Ethics. Journal Of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 4555-59. doi:10.1177/1073110517703326


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