Immigration continues to be a divisive topic across the US and in the media. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, providing optimal health care for children, adults and families who have migrated to the US is not just a matter of public health, it's the right thing to do.
In the medical community, we have an obligation to be apolitical. However, it is critical that we as clinicians are aware of the growing policy changes that affect immigrant populations. We must build our capacity to discuss these issues, given the fact that family separation, access to public benefits and migration restrictions affect a significant proportion of the families we see every day. Immigrants face a multitude of challenges, including toxic stress from being separated from their children and families, the growing threat of possible deportation and the negative impacts on individuals and families.
In New York, one in four children is born into a family where at least one parent is an immigrant. By 2050, that statistic will be one in three. As our communities continue to become more diverse, we need to ensure better ways of providing care for these families. Here's how.