Quick Guide: National, State, and County-Level Data and Resources on Undocumented Patients

Updated June 8, 2017

The 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States live in all 50 states and rely on local safety-nets and state-level provisions for health care. Launched in 2011, The Hastings Center’s Undocumented Patients project has focused on understanding ethical and policy challenges in providing health care access for this low-income population, which is excluded from key federal benefits and faces uncertain prospects.

The Undocumented Patients website is a hub for issue briefs, policy solutions, and a searchable database of research tools on this issue. The following web-based tools have been selected by project staff to help professionals who work in safety-net hospitals, clinics, and health programs learn about the demographics of the undocumented population in a state or county. These tools also provide up-to-date information on insurance, legal rights, and legal services relevant to the care of undocumented immigrants and mixed-status families. Information and links are current as of June 8, 2017.

For the basics about the undocumented population and migration trends in your state

Pew Research Center

For demographic detail relevant to health care access in your state

Migration Policy Institute (MPI)

For information about state-level health insurance coverage

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF)

For information about legal rights relevant to health care access

National Immigration Law Center (NILC)

  • Know Your Rights, Know Your Patients’ Rights” resource offers detailed information and recommendations for health care providers on organizational processes to safeguard patients’ rights and in interactions with immigration enforcement.
  • Know Your Rights” resource on health insurance and health care offers detailed information, in English and Spanish, on the health-related and Constitutional rights of undocumented immigrants.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

  • Child Immigrant Health Toolkit offers guidance on ethical, legal, and social issues relevant to health care for immigrant children and families, and on medical screening and treatment recommendations for newly arrived immigrant children.

For information about hospital-based legal services for low-income patients

National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership

Rachel Zacharias is a research assistant and project manager at The Hastings Center.