Undocumented immigrants can’t access government healthcare as they age

  • A population of undocumented Latino elders is projected to grow rapidly over the next two decades.
  • Without legal status, undocumented workers pay billions in taxes that they cannot recoup in retirement or health care.
  • “Often, people are forced to continue working until it’s physically impossible,” said Tovia Siegel, an immigrant advocate in Illinois.

In 1998, Noe Ramírez crossed into the United States from Mexico, hoping to earn enough to buy a new taxi to replace the one he was driving in Mexico City. The part-time musician found work in Houston, playing guitar on weekends.

One morning, while riding his bike to work, he was hit by a drunk driver. The driver fled, leaving him bleeding in the street, his spinal cord crushed. After being hospitalized, he was taken into a local shelter for undocumented migrants, receiving medical care through a county program for low-income residents.

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