Migrant Health Centers

VI. Key Issues: Financing and Delivery >> I. Public Medical Programs >> Primary Care >> Migrant Health Centers (last updated 3.14.15)

The Migrant Health Center program provides support to health centers to deliver comprehensive, high quality, culturally-competent preventive and primary health services to migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families with a particular focus on the occupational health and safety needs of this population. Principal employment for both migrant and seasonal farmworkers must be in agriculture.


Number of Illegal ImmigrantsAccording to Wall Street Journal (3.14-15.15), the Department of Homeland Security in its official tally says 11.4 million unauthorized immigrants live here. The Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C., puts the figure at around 11.2 million. And the Center for Migration Studies, a nonprofit based in New York, calculates that it’s just over 11 million. The following summarizes how these numbers are calculated:

  • Until the 1980s, conventional wisdom held that illegal immigrants weren’t represented in government population surveys. But a supplement to the Current Population Survey in the early 1980s asked residents why they didn’t vote, and the number who responded by saying they weren’t citizens exceeded the estimated number of legal immigrants in the same area. “We discovered nonauthorized immigrants are in the data,” said Robert Warren, a visiting fellow at the Center for Migration Studies who previously was also a demographer at the Census Bureau. “That changed things.”
  • Using the residual technique, which Messrs. Warren and Passel pioneered, researchers assume all foreign-born residents who entered the U.S. before 1980 or 1981 (depending on who’s doing the math) are legal. That is because immigrants who came in illegally before then were offered amnesty through the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.



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