Resources to Help Advocates Working with Immigrant Youth Navigate Medical Care

As if the immigration process was not difficult enough, imagine going through it while you are not feeling well physically or mentally. Unfortunately, that is the reality for some immigrant youth who find themselves simultaneously navigating the complexities of the immigration process and their healthcare needs. Child immigration advocates are experts in immigration law and are great at advocating and guiding their clients through the immigration legal process. However, many are not familiar with navigating complex healthcare needs or resources.

The CILA team wanted to provide you with some great resources that can help with these needs:

One of these resources is the Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN) Health Network. MCN’s Health Network is a virtual case management program that helps migrants with ongoing healthcare needs by finding them care at their next destination. For example, if you have a youth with an ongoing medical or mental health need, who is currently housed in a shelter in El Paso but will be reunifying with his family in California, MCN’s Health Network can assist with finding, connecting, and coordinating care for the youth and his family in California.

  • For more information or to get connected with this great program please visit MCN’s website at or contact Camila Velasquez at or call her at 512-327-2017 ext. 4566. MCN can also be reached at this number: 443-305-9383.

Another program that might be able to help in Houston, Texas is the Texas Children’s Hospital Program for Immigrant and Refugee Child Health (PIRCH). PIRCH can advocate and help the child receive the medical care they need during their visit to Texas Children’s Hospital. They also work to try and expedite care for any child in the care Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR) whose reunification is on hold due to a healthcare need. For example, if the child needs medical treatment or clearance from a cardiologist but the first available appointment is two months out, the PIRCH program can assist by trying to expedite the visit to prevent a long reunification delay.

Dr. Fredricks attended CILA’s December 2022 Texas Social Work working group as a guest speaker. CILA is grateful to Dr. Fredericks for attending the working group meeting and for providing valuable information regarding medical resources available to immigrant youth. Learn more about CILA’s six working groups focused on different topics that each meet on a quarterly basis on CILA’s Community webpage.