For the Least of These Brothers and Sisters of Mine: Providing Mental Health Care to Undocumented Immigrant Children
15 Seattle Journal for Social Justice 65
45 Pages Posted: 8 May 2018
Date Written: February 1, 2016
This article first examines the recent “surge” of unaccompanied children migrating to the United States, exploring its causes, children’s experiences on the journey, and what happens once they arrive in the United States. Because many aspects of these experiences are traumatic, they create a need for mental health care. The article then addresses this need and the fiscal and human costs of failing to address it before advocating a simple solution: expanding eligibility for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program to include low-income undocumented youth. After briefly examining the history and structure of these programs, the remainder of the article presents constitutional and policy arguments for removing the ban on providing these government services to children who are in the country without authorization.
Keywords: Immigration, Law, Children, Medicaid, Constitutional Law, Plyler v. Doe, Health Care, Undocumented Immigrants
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