Healthcare for Undocumented Workers by benjamin wodhams

Many of the workers in our society are immigrants, and some of them are undocumented. For these undocumented workers to be able to work with the best efficiency and provide the best results, they can’t be worried about their safety. However, many of these undocumented workers are fearful for their lives because they often work in unsanitary places, or working environments that aren’t very safe for them, and many of their employers don’t provide health insurance.

Construction workers on top of very tall building working with dangerous heavy machinery.

Who are we to decide who gets to work in a safe environment or not? What kind of a society do we live in where the rich decide the safety of the less fortunate? What kind of people are we if we don’t support every human being who is putting forth the effort to a better life? “Overall, illegal immigrants made up 3.5 percent of the U.S. population and were a quarter of all immigrants in 2014” (Dinan). What kind of human being does that make us if we’re willing to sacrifice 3.5% of our population because they’re undocumented immigrants? We are taught to love one another and support each other when we’re in need. Undocumented workers are contributing to society in various ways, living in our communities, their children are in our schools, and their culture has a major impact on our daily lives. We can’t turn a blind eye to their needs because they’re human, just like everyone else.

We must support one another

Safety in a work place should be the number one priority for every employer. If the workers aren’t safe, less work will get done, and more people will get injured. It’s in the employer’s best interest to ensure safety to their employees, and yet, many employers don’t do this because of the financial burden. Not only do many of these employers not offer health insurance, they also don’t offer proper safety instructions or procedures in the workplace. One undocumented worker was interviewed at a farm where safety wasn’t a priority, and he told a story about how he got injured on the job. The first day he worked, he was told to use a chemical to remove fungus from hooves of calves, and instead of being taught proper safety, he was put straight to work. He wasn’t taught any safety regulations or given any safety glasses, and he accidentally got some of the chemical in his eye, which caused him to go temporarily blind. Luckily, this man wasn’t permanently blinded, but he could have been. If the farm’s employer had only given a short “crash course” on safety while using this chemical, the worker would never have been injured. We must protect our valued workers as they are the ones who “keep the world turning”. Without them, our economy would be doing very poorly and our world would be in a stagnant state.

Healthcare is very important for every worker because even with proper safety precautions, things can always go wrong. According to a study done in 2000, approximately 12.7% of white Americans are uninsured while all immigrant categories, Asian, African American, Indian, and Hispanic, are all above 22% uninsured, with Hispanics reaching a massive 35% uninsured immigrants. “Lack of insurance poses the most significant barrier to care. Insurance status, perhaps more than any other demographic or economic factor, determines the timelines and quality of healthcare” (Smedley, et al 83). Every worker needs healthcare as they pose a safety risk to all of their coworkers.

Any worker, regardless of their citizenship, should be allowed the simplest of commodities, especially healthcare and safety in their workplace. Many undocumented workers help our communities and work very hard and pay their taxes, so they have earned their share of healthcare. Healthcare is a major part of everyone’s life because they are reliant on having that if they’re ever seriously injured or become seriously ill. Today, more than ever, we must act. With the new administration, undocumented workers are less likely to live a safe life and more likely to be deported or put in jail. Our past administration strived to provide free healthcare to the masses, but that administration is no longer with us, and we must stand strong, and stand together. Without healthcare, people could end up losing their jobs, or even worse, their life.

Works Cited

Dinan, Stephen. "Number of Illegals Holds Steady at 11.1 Million." The Washington Times. The Washington Times, 20 Sept. 2016. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.

Smedley, Brian D., Adrienne Y. Stith, and Alan R. Nelson. Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care. Washington, D.C.: National Academy, 2003. Print.

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