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Public Policy and Administration


Amin Asfari


Undocumented immigration has been a major social and political problem for the United States with an estimated 11 million immigrants living presently in an undocumented status. In Mexico, 73% of the population live below the poverty line and face challenges in meeting basic needs let alone purchasing private health insurance. In May 2003, the government of Mexico established the Segura Popular (popular healthcare) to extend health insurance to underinsured and uninsured communities to address healthcare access inequities. In depth phenomenological interviews were used to explore the lived experiences of formerly undocumented Mexican immigrants living in Hidalgo County, Texas, regarding the role of healthcare in their push/pull decision to migrate to the United States. Lee’s push/pull theory of migration served as the conceptual lens. Utilizing a convenience purposive sampling design, seven participants were recruited using a social media platform. ATLAS.ti software was used for thematic coding and data analyses. The findings revealed that corruption, pay before care, lack of healthcare facilities and doctors were push factors while the perception of free care in emergencies, cheaper insurance, and quality healthcare services were pull factors. The study findings can have positive social change implications by adding to information regarding the relationship between healthcare access and the immigration push to better guide healthcare policy debate for the Hidalgo County, Texas public health authorities and United States Immigration policy setters.

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