Immigrants has been part of the United States (US) historical society ever since this country has long been discovered. They say that this nation is built by immigrants. Some people would strongly disagree; but to be fair that is a reality. The American economy has long thrive and sustained, and has been strengthened by the contributions made by immigrants. Immigrants come from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds; each with their own stories to tell and traditions to share.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made an impact on the socioeconomic and health care inequities of vulnerable and undeserved communities in the US, one of which is the immigrant population. Approximately 44% had been naturalized US citizens, 26% were documented and 30% came in as undocumented immigrants. There is an expected estimated increase in the immigration population from 12.5% in 2010 to 20% by 2050 if the trend continues (Bustamante, Van de Wees, 2012). At present, there are 10.5M undocumented immigrants in the US and 44.4M individuals with legal document status were born outside the US (Radford, 2019). Ten years ago, in 2010, the American Community Survey and US Census review says that there was an increase in the immigration population by 24% between 2000-2010. These immigrants are comprised of foreign-born individuals coming from Latin America including Mexico and the Caribbean (53%), Asia (28%), Europe (12.5%), Africa (4%), North America (2%) and Oceania (0.5%). The recent statistics done by the Migration Policy Institute in 2018 showed that the largest group of immigrants were the Mexicans, that counts as 25% of all immigrants in the US. This is followed by Indians with 6%, Chines 5%, Filipinos 5%, Salvadorans 3%, Vietnamese 3%, Cubans 3%, Dominicans 3%, Koreans 2% and Guatemalans who has 2% of the immigrant population.
The immigrant population has been a diverse and versatile yet vulnerable group when it comes to having disparities with maintaining a sense of healthy well-being as a part of a sub-population, as well as acquiring health care services as compared to the native-born individuals within a given host region. These inequities to the immigrant communities are more emphasized because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected every community and millions of people globally. The following health issues are discussed and its effects and influences to the vulnerable immigrant population specially during this pandemic. A multilevel view of the society-behavioral-biological interface, as well as a developmental ecology framework, will be included to present the environmental and personal determinants of health concerning the immigrant population (Stokols, 2018).
Systems thrive for balance and congruence with their surroundings (Stokols, 2018). The society’s and nature’s dynamic interconnection show their adaptive capability by initially making conservatory process followed by a destabilization in order to create a new and re-organized system. Entropy is a core feature of all organized forms to move toward dissolution but with the capacity to keep its negative entropic feature, keeping its structure and purpose functional as time moves forward. This is where resilience comes in; in order for any given system to sustain, continue and survive at any given condition and at any given time. Since the COVID-19 hit the US, the social determinants of health had been impacted by the pandemic directly. It does not matter what race or ethnicity the person comes from, living in poverty or not, especially those people whose immigration status, is legal or not. Access to health care has been an issue to the immigrant community even before the dawn of the pandemic. Advocate groups pointed out that many undocumented people without Social Security numbers are not eligible for the critical economic aid by the Families first Coronavirus Response Act. Knowing the fact that immigrant workers will not receive a critical relief from the federal government will make them continue to go to work even if they are sick or have a member of the family who are, thus making themselves and the people around them at risk of exposure, else contracting the virus itself.
There is still inadequate information to access when it comes to the immigrant population health disparities due to COVID-19. Continued public health collection is still needed in order to identify and delineate health inequalities and the impact of immigration status on COVID-19 outcomes. Eventually, addressed issues can be used to make future policies and interventions to address potential serious health issues of the immigrant population.
Reyes, Maureen S.. "The Immigrant Population Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis: A Compiled Project for NURS 518." (2020). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/population_health/2