University of Houston- Victoria
Undocumented Immigrants and healthcare
Landing in London quickly gave me an overview of just how diverse the city is. Walking through the corridors, exiting the airport I must have heard a hundred different languages and there were an array of costumes displayed with pride. I witnessed so many cultures and heard so many dialects, it was an exhilarating experience. It felt like people were representing all parts of the world. As we made it through the city, it was hard to distinguish who was British and who was not. My objective was to assess how European undocumented immigrants share similarities from undocumented immigration population in the United Sates by observing daily living conditions and finding out how immigrants get health care.
I wanted to compare undocumented immigrant issues that were equal to the United States and other European countries such as England, but in my research I could not find enough information indicating the growing influx of undocumented immigrants. Immigration in England is a growing problem but still much smaller than the United States. The United States and European Union differ in terms of the scale of their undocumented migrant populations. The total population of the 27 European Union countries is more than 500 million, which is substantially larger than the United States’ 300 million. Yet, in the European Union, the estimated number of undocumented immigrants ranges from 1.9 million to 3.8 million, far fewer than the United States’ 11-12 million migrants (Gray & Van Ginneken, 2012, p. 2).
Housing London has a very high cost of living. A typical one bedroom efficiency in the city cost approximately $1800.00 a month, not to mention all the other expenses such as food, clothing, and transportation. Eating out is expensive as well. I ate two meals a day paying thirty dollars for dinner alone. The high cost of living in a foreign country that speaks a different language reduces the chances an undocumented immigrant has of obtaining a career and pay taxes, let alone healthcare. The European immigrant population comes from many different countries, with heavy concentration on countries from Africa, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union (Gray & Van Ginneken, 2012, p. 2).
The United States could equally be expensive and challenging to the undocumented immigrant. The average cost of a one bedroom apartment cost $900.00 dollars. Food and clothing are cheaper than in England but it also depends on where you live, such as Houston or San Francisco. Undocumented immigrants average twenty five thousand dollars a year, but after living expenses, cost for food, taxes, transportation, sending money home, there is not enough money to pay for private insurance. For example, Mexicans move to the United States looking for better jobs and opportunities for a better living for their family. Their labor resources are better employed in the advanced U.S. economy than in underdeveloped, institutionally crippled Mexican economy (Delacroix & Nikiforov, 2009, p. 111). The majority of immigrants that enter the United States come from Central and South America (Gray & Van Ginneken, 2012, p. 2).
The high cost of health care and the deterioration of health insurance coverage are two important long term challenges that confront Americans. This is especially problematic for immigrants in the United States who have extremely low rates of health care insurance coverage and poor access to health services (Caulford & Vali, 2006, p. 54). In the United States, undocumented immigrants arrive bearing a disproportionate burden of undiagnosed illness and commonly lack immunizations and other basic preventative care (Kullgren, 2003, p. 30). Language barriers, lack of knowledge about healthcare system, fear of detection by authorities are factors that limit the undocumented immigrants’