This Noche de Altares Share Your Health Story

By: Areli Serna, Dulce Saavedra, and Miriam Lopez

Undocumented immigrants in the US live precarious lives. We’ve faced escalating persecution by ICE, and daily harassment by local law enforcement. Through it all we’ve persevered and fought back. But there’s a problem afflicting our community that doesn’t get talked about as much in public: Our Health.

At Orange County Immigrant Youth United we believe that access to healthcare is a human right. No one should be denied the right to see a doctor or receive the treatment they need. Unfortunately this is not the case in the US. Despite the fact millions of previously uninsured people are receiving access to healthcare for the first time because of the Affordable Care Act, undocumented people remain excluded from access to preventative care.

This has created an environment in which immigrant families often forego treating otherwise treatable illnesses until they turn into a medical emergency. This is why we are campaigning to increase access to preventative healthcare for undocumented immigrants through our #Health4All Campaign

In an effort to build public awareness and support for right of immigrants to live healthy lives we will dedicate an altar to the undocumented and uninsured at this year’s Noche de Altars. With the altar we will share the stories of members of community who have faced health problems exacerbated by their exclusion from the public health system. This year’s Noche de Altares will take place all day on Saturday November 1st in downtown Santa Ana (Corner of Birch St. and 4th St.)

If you would like to share your or your family’s story and have it featured in the altar, we invite you to submit your story in the form below. To help you write your testimony, you can consider the following questions:

    1. How has your immigration status affected your access to healthcare and the ability to see a doctor when you are sick?
    2. How has being uninsured affected you or your family? Can you share a specific example from your life that comes to mind?