Undocumented immigrants are ineligible for many public benefits and often rely on safety-net clinics, such as community health centers, for health care. Using in-depth interviews, we explored attitudes about undocumented immigrants' deservingness of health care among staff and professional health workers (n=31) at two safety-net clinics in Alabama, which passed a restrictive immigration law in 2011. We used content analysis to examine frequently used frames to describe health deservingness. Overall, a total of 27 frames were used by health workers. They most frequently justified their views using frames of medical humanitarianism (i.e., health workers should care for those in need) and equality (i.e., people should not be treated differently from one another). Several respondents used multiple, conflicting frames that simultaneously supported and questioned immigrants' deservingness of care. The diverse ways in which health workers in this sample framed undocumented immigrants' health deservingness may affect provider-patient interactions.


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pp. 820-840
Launched on MUSE
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