It’s estimated that nearly 11.2 million undocumented immigrants live in the United States, meaning that some 11.2 million people do not have access to health care.
According to Juan Hernandez, an Oak Park resident and immigrant from Sinaloa, these immigrants usually get sick but wait until the last minute to get help.
“Sometimes we get sick or something and let it add up and add up until we finally can’t take it and end up in the emergency room,” said Hernandez.
Hernandez recalls a moment when he was injured but couldn’t pay for his medical bills.
“Back a couple years ago I was working on the roof and I took a wrong step and fell I ended up landing on my back. It didn’t hurt much when it happened but it started to later,” said Hernandez.
An article talks about different facts about healthcare, and it claims that nearly 18,000 people die in the United States each year because they are uninsured.
“I never wanted to go because at the time I was working a job that was helping me sustain my family and I didn’t have any spending money,” said Hernandez. “When the pain finally became unbearable I went into the emergency room, while they did the different scans they found out I had a cancerous tumor.”
“I ended up getting it treated through different avenues but it was a long process.”
Hernandez believes if he would’ve had a doctor he could’ve figured this out sooner.
“If I had a regular doctor they could’ve found this before but most of the time me and the undocumented community face different judgements and don’t have the money to afford a doctor so we go on feeling bad but not being able to do much about it,” said Hernandez.
Hernandez and many other people in the Oak Park community hope that this can change and that they can all receive healthcare. After all, “We all work and get our hands dirty like everyone else,” says Hernandez.