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Failures of US Health Care System for Pregnant Asylum Seekers

Migrant Clinicians Network's white paper, “Failures of US Health Care System for Pregnant Asylum Seekers,” outlines how pregnant asylum seekers who have been released into the US to await their asylum hearing face extreme obstacles to secure prenatal care, despite their legal presence within the country.

Without prenatal care, infants will not have the benefit of early screening and treatment for potentially life-threatening diseases and screening for congenital abnormalities, while in utero. Additionally, pregnancies without prenatal care may result in excess utilization of emergency services which produces unforeseen strain on the health care system.

Knowledge of prenatal care needs, cost, lack of insurance, transportation, refusal by health centers, and fear are delineated as key barriers for pregnant asylum seekers from accessing the care they need during their pregnancy.

Press contact: Claire Hutkins Seda,

This colorful vaccine calendar comic gives low-literacy information on vaccines and some information on why adults need immunizations, too. Available in high resolution to download and print into poster size.

Migrant Clinicians Network, Inc. (MCN) will work during the next two years to engage members of our clinical network and all relevant stakeholders to advance health justice for the mobile poor. Our advocacy and education priorities focus on safe and legal entry into the United States, as well as strong and equal protection for workers in all occupations. Advancement in these areas creates the greatest opportunity for all to access high-quality, affordable healthcare. 

  • Comprehensive Immigration Reform
  • Access to Health Care
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Published July 15, 2014

MCN holds the position that immigrant children fleeing violence in their home countries must receive priority consideration for their safety and health. We have provided several links with additional resources on this issue.

The Superior Court in the State of Delaware ruled that an undocumented worker who had been deported was entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits to cover medical costs incurred due to an injury sustained on the job while in the US.

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This resource for Outreach Programs provides ideas and resources for how to do outreach in an anti-immigrant climate by addressing specific barriers, providing strategies, and listing resources.It is provided by Health Outreach Partners in collaboration with Quincy Community Health Center, Lorena Sprager and Associates, Migrant Legal Action Program, and attendees from the 2011 and 2012 Western Migrant Stream Forums (WMSF).

Summary of the June 2012 article from the New York Times on American attitudes toward immigration.

An April 2012 article from the Arizona Republic citing poll data on attitudes toward immigration in the state.

Issue Brief Co-Authored by Health Outreach Partners and the Kaiser Family Foundation
Information provided by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured

Publication Number: 8249
Publish Date: 2011-10-27

This brief examines how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may impact immigrant families based on data collected from Outreach/Eligibility Workers in four regions of the country and supported by needs data from several health outreach programs around the country.  You will note that the pivotal role of Community Health Centers (CHCs)  to connect immigrant families to coverage and care is highlighted.  Migrant Health Centers and Homeless Health Centers are specifically cited because of their history of pioneering and strengthening many of the models and strategies that will be needed to connect immigrant families to health coverage and care come 2014.

Download report here.

Mobile Voices (VozMob) is a platform for immigrant workers and / or low income can create stories about their lives and communities directly from their mobile phones. Each week the team discusses popular media stories, develops and shares knowledge, designs the system, and creates training tools. The communication equipment is made popular by day laborers, domestic workers, and youth volunteers have taken very seriously the role of writing their own history. We also meet every week at USC to develop research on the project.

A production from American Radio Works that focuses on the impact of Latino immigration in America. It's sinking in among Americans that the nation's largest wave of immigration did not happen a century ago. It's happening now. About 35 million of us were born in other countries. That's one in eight residents of the United States. Immigrants come from all over the globe, but Latino immigration is remaking the country. And not just on the coasts and in the Southwest.
A weblog about the business of immigrant work: employment, compensation, legal protections, education, mobility, and public policy.

On many occasions, MCN staff has heard from colleagues in the area of migrant health that the official legislated definition of a Migrant or Seasonal Farmworker used in HRSA funded health centers is not representative of the population now being served in many M/CHCs. In order to have a clearer understanding of the opinions held by our colleagues, MCN initiated a 3 week-long survey in June, 2006 to gather information from individuals providing direct health services about the possible strengths or weaknesses of the definition of migrant currently in use. Here are the results.

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