Monday, November 23, 2020

Undocumented and Pregnant: Why Women Are Afraid to Get Prenatal Care


Catlin Dickerson for the New York Times reports that "[u]ndocumented women are risking their health by postponing prenatal care and giving birth at home in response to the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement policies."

President Trump’s public charge rule has led some immigrants to avoid accessing public benefits and medical care. Undocumented people have also avoided medical care to avoid being detected and possibly deported. Doctors and health officials say this extends to pregnant undocumented women, who are afraid to seek prenatal care. The revised public charge rule threatens an immigrant’s chances of getting a visa or achieving citizenship if they have relied on public benefits.

As Dickerson writes, 

"Though undocumented immigrants are ineligible for most welfare programs and have been shown to use those that are available at lower rates than American citizens, the Trump administration said the expansion was necessary to discourage people who could not support themselves financially from moving to the United States. `Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge,' Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the acting director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, said at the time."


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