Vulnerable populations include children, the elderly, the homeless, those with chronic health conditions, economically disadvantaged, the racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, and refugees. Vulnerability may arise from community, individual or larger population challenges. Immigrants have been identified as a vulnerable population, but there is heterogeneity in the degree to which they are vulnerable to inadequate health care.Factors that affect immigrants’ vulnerability, including socioeconomic background; immigration status; limited English proficiency; federal, state, and local policies on access to publicly funded health care; residential location; and stigma and marginalization. Overall, immigrants have lower rates of health insurance, use less health care, and receive lower quality of care than U. S. -born populations; however, there are differences among subgroups.
Policy options for addressing immigrants’ vulnerabilities.Limited English proficiency is also likely to affect the quality of care immigrants receive; for instance, immigrants with limited proficiency report lower satisfaction with care and lower understanding of their medical situation. Those who need an interpreter but do not receive one fare the worst, followed by those who receive an interpreter and those who have a language-concordant provider or speak English well enough to communicate with the provider. Immigrants’ vulnerability can also be influenced by whether an immigrant’s U. S. residence is in a traditional or new destination for immigrants.
New destinations are less likely than established destinations to have well-developed safety nets, culturally competent providers, and immigrant advocacy or community-based organizations. Latinos in areas with relatively small Latino populations rely more on emergency departments (EDs) for their care than do Latinos in areas with relatively large Latino populations, and physicians in communities with small Latino populations report more language barriers and problems communicating with patients compared to physicians in major Latino centers.As often it has been noted that United States has a conflicted and somewhat judge mental attitude toward immigration. United States is a diverse country, ethnically and racially.
Many immigrants come to America in search of a new life for themselves and family, I am aware of this because I also am an immigrant. About 17 percent of documented residents live below the poverty level. I would like to share a little about when my family and I immigrated to United States back in 1990, I can explain better why immigration population is most vulnerable.
We did not speak a word of English; my dad could not find a job because no one would hire him they thought that because he did not speak English then he might not have the skills to work for their company. An extended family member had a friend who owned a business and he also was an Armenian just like us decided that he will give my dad a chance to work for him. At the time we did not have a vehicle and did not have the money to purchase a vehicle, (we came to United States with one hundred dollars) my dad found a bicycle and decided that he will use the bicycle to go to work and back, he was making four dollars and hour.
My mother wanted to work also and she was able to find a job sewing clothes making two dollars an hour. My parents did not know that they can receive help with food, clothing, and health care; they did not have the resources that they needed to be able to survive. I believe that because they did not speak English, they were not familiar with the culture, did not have anyone to help them they were part of that vulnerable population.
To really understand Immigration we need to explore the history of Immigration.Immigration helped tremendously with our economic growth. Immigration played a key role not only in making America’s development possible but also in shaping the basic nature of the society. Immigration has made the United States of America. There are a large number of immigrants that come to America. Over the last 15-20 years there has been influx of immigrants settling in rural and suburban areas. Immigrants tended to coincide by group in particular neighborhoods, cities, and regions.There are six races recognized in the United States, African American or Black, White, American Indian, Asian, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, and Hispanic.
In the late 19th and early 20th century congress changed the nation’s basic policy about immigration. The National Origins Act in 1924 restricted the number of immigrants who might enter the United States. A piece of legislation, it essentially gave preference to immigrants from northern and Western Europe, limited the numbers from southern and eastern Europe, all potential immigrants from Asia to be unworthy of entry into the United States.The National Origins Act lasted until 1965. During those years, the United States began to admit, case by case, limited numbers of refugees, Jewish refugees before World War II, Jewish holocaust survivors after the war. By 2000 immigration to the United States once again became a nation formed and transformed by immigrants. Now in the early 21st century, American society once again finds itself locked in a debate over immigration and the role of immigrants in American society.
Some critics believe that immigrants take jobs away from Americans and put a burden on the educational, welfare, and health care system. Many consider a large number of immigrants to pose a threat to the society’s basic structure. Supporters of immigrants believe that immigrants enrich the United States, in large measures because they provide valuable services to the nation. Many men and women from around the world have opted for the American experience. They arrived as foreigners, cultures, bearers of languages, and religions.Over time as ideas about United States culture changed, the immigrants built ethnic communities, contributing to the nation as a whole.
Immigrant population is most vulnerable for many reasons, cannot speak English, do not have the education or skills for steady employment, not familiar with the American culture. Many continue to make the effort to identify vulnerable populations, as well as addressing ongoing concerns such as the shortage of health-care services, and affordable housing, directed to the vulnerable population.