Welcome to AccessDenied: A Conversation on Unauthorized Im/migration and Health! The aim of this blog is to stimulate dialogue about a vital global health challenge: unauthorized migrants’ and immigrants’ lack of access to health care services. The blog challenges readers and contributors to re-think the political common sense that denies im/migrants access to health care. We also consider how the increased movement of people across national borders affects the health and health services of receiving communities.
We ask our readers and contributors to consider some morally and politically tough questions. Do unauthorized im/migrants have a right to health? To medical care? To publicly funded care? Is health care a human right? What are the consequences (political, moral, epidemiological) of denying care to unauthorized im/migrants? These are fundamental questions about citizenship, social contracts, human rights, health disparities, equity, and community welfare.
This collaborative blog grew out of a “Take a Stand” initiative from the Critical Anthropology of Global Health interest group of the Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA). It is part of a broader effort within anthropology to make our research relevant beyond the academy and contribute to public policy conversations. We encourage you to read our Commentary in the SMA’s flagship journal, Medical Anthropology Quarterly that describes the complex problem of unauthorized im/migration and health and suggests how anthropologists might get involved. Although this effort was initiated by a group of anthropologists, we hope that the blog itself will engage academics from other disciplines as well as public health practitioners, activists, policymakers, and interested members of the community.
In addition to serving as a space for discussion and dialogue, the blog is also a clearinghouse for relevant news items and a venue for the development of collaborative initiatives on various scales. We have assembled a working bibliography and a list of links to other organizations, policy institutes, researchers, and activist groups who are working on this issue. Content will be added regularly from scholars in the field, activists, and public health practitioners. Check back for regular updates, and please contact us if you would like to contribute!
– The Blog Team: