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US election 2020: Undocumented status and mental healthcare access

the University of Texas Health Science Center
the Baker Institute Center
Rice University
the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
the Supreme Court’s
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Republican Party
the House of Representatives
Trump Administration
the Migrant Protection Protocols
the Department of Homeland Security
Democratic Party
the Democratic National Committee

Luz M. Garcini
Cristina Abraham
Pamela L. Cruz
Joe R.
Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine
Barack Obama’s
Donald Trump
Joe Biden
Angela M. Bell
Luz Maria Garcini

Asian Americans

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the United States
San Antonio

the 2020 State of the Union

Positivity     30.00%   
   Negativity   70.00%
The New York Times
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Cruz is from the Baker Institute Center for the United States and Mexico at Rice University in Houston, TX.The views presented in this article are the authors’ and may not reflect the views of the institutions they are affiliated with.Healthcare is set to be among the top issues in voters’ minds as they head to the polls in November, but past efforts in healthcare reform have excluded the undocumented population.Access to healthcare, including mental health services and resources, has been a long standing challenge for undocumented immigrants in the U.S.Obstacles include the inability to afford healthcare due to cost or a lack of insurance, limited access to health services that are culturally and contextually sensitive to the needs of undocumented immigrants, and a fear of being stigmatized, discriminated against, deported, or all three.These barriers to access are exacerbated by the current anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies that, to the detriment of undocumented immigrants, add to the stress, depression, anxiety, and trauma-related distress faced by this population.Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified these barriers by placing a disproportionate burden on immigrant communities, further highlighting the need for inclusive policies that adequately address the physical and mental health needs of this vulnerable population.If you would like to check your registration status or register to vote, we have added some useful links at the bottom of this article.Particularly significant barriers restricting access to health services for undocumented immigrants are fear and a lack of trust.Whether as a result of failed promises or actions or punitive anti-immigrant actions, undocumented communities have often been let down by government leaders across the political spectrum.For instance, former U.S. president Barack Obama’s administration left a mixed legacy on immigration.On the one hand, there were record high removals and a large-scale expansion of family detention. The fear among undocumented communities has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.Undocumented immigrants, many of whom are working in industries classified as essential, face the difficult position of having to work while having little to no financial or health protections.As the 2020 election looms closer, feelings of uncertainty, mistrust, and doubt continue to prevail among undocumented communities.The Democratic and Republican policy platforms differ considerably when it comes to undocumented immigration and providing accessible healthcare for this vulnerable population.The outcome of this election — including the presidential election, the election in the Senate (where 35 Senate seats are to be decided), and the election of representatives for all 435 congressional districts — will determine how immigration and healthcare reform will be addressed in the future.The Republican platform advocates for strict enforcement, stiffer penalties, supporting the rights of states to enact laws deterring undocumented immigrants from residing within those states, and opposing any form of amnesty “for those who, by breaking the law, have disadvantaged those who have obeyed it.”President Trump’s second term agenda follows the stance of ending “illegal” immigration and blocking “illegal immigrants from becoming eligible for taxpayer-funded welfare, healthcare, and free college tuition.”These statements suggest that the Republican Party views undocumented immigration as an exploitation of taxpayers.

As said here by Luz Maria Garcini, Ph.D., MPH