Undocumented Immigrants are reportedly too scared to go to the Doctor
Undocumented immigrants are so scared to go to the doctor that community health networks have to hire a promotora, which is Spanish for “promoter” and is a term used in Latino communities for a community health worker to convince people that they can go to the doctor without being deported. Maria Ponce de Leon, a volunteer promotora, states:
Sometimes people don’t open their doors, they’re worried about immigration, they’re scared to admit they don’t have papers. When I give them information, they’ll say, ‘It’s for my cousin, it’s for my neighbor.’ They don’t want to admit they’re undocumented, but they’re in desperate need of healthcare.
Ponce de Leon and her friend Chely Yanez spend a few days a week canvassing in Boyle Heights, a Los Angeles neighborhood where 94 percent of the population is Latino. They go to various places to distribute health information such as supermarkets and laundromats. In Los Angeles, you don’t have to be a legal resident to get medical treatment; however, many of the estimated 1 million undocumented immigrants who live in the Los Angeles metropolitan area don’t know this. Clínica Romero operates two clinics within Latino neighborhoods in Los Angeles and sponsors the promotora program, which serves about 11,000 low-income patients a year. The staff has noticed that people’s behavior patterns have changed since the Trump administration began. It is important to be informed about things such as health care and the promotoras are defiantly providing the Latino community with this information.