Notes from the Field: Immigrant Communities in California Under the Cloud of Immigration Enforcement
In 2017, ITUP hosted annual workgroups throughout California, 10 regional workgroups and two collaboratives in Los Angeles. During these convenings, ITUP provided timely updates on federal and state health reform and heard from attendees about the coverage gains around the state, as well as the challenges looming from potential federal rollbacks of essential health programs.
ITUP also recognized the current challenges around California in addressing the health care needs of immigrant communities given the increasingly hostile political climate and stepped up federal immigration enforcement. ITUP engaged workgroup attendees, including health care providers and immigrant rights advocates, who described the work in communities to overcome the barriers that discourage immigrants from seeking health and social services.
Workgroup participants discussed increased federal immigration enforcement activity creating heightened fear and stress among immigrants, but also emphasized the resilience and strength of immigrant families. Undocumented individuals and other immigrant attendees demonstrated this fortitude by sharing compelling firsthand experiences, including the impacts of the persistent threat of deportation.
This report includes background on the legal complexities at the intersection of immigration policy and health access, including the recent shift in federal immigration enforcement policies, and highlights key themes from the workgroup discussions.