Health Care Access for Recently Arrived Migrants in New York State
Special Projects Fund
December 8, 2022
Since April 2022, the governors of Texas, Florida, and Arizona have sent thousands of migrants by bus to New York City—pushing the City’s safety-net services to the breaking point and prompting Mayor Adams to declare a state of emergency.
Most migrants arrived with nothing but the clothes on their backs and are in need of urgent medical care. Among them are children who need vaccines to enroll in schools and pregnant women needing immediate access to prenatal care. But migrants do not know how to navigate the complex health system. New York City opened the Asylum Seeker Resource Navigation Center, where migrants can access basic necessities and connect with community-based organizations that provide specialized support services. Most recently, the flow of migrants has slowed down, but there are still many newly arrived migrants in need of health assistance. Make the Road New York (MRNY) has been onsite at the Center to help hold orientation sessions for migrants. In 2022, NYHealth awarded MRNY a grant to build on this work and connect migrants to health care access and other specialized services in New York State.
Under this grant, MRNY will conduct outreach at key locations that migrants often attend, such as food pantries, schools, and health fairs, to provide information about available services, COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, and additional referrals. It will also provide health care enrollment assistance and health care navigation by connecting migrants to NYC Health + Hospitals’ primary care program, ensuring that children have access to vaccines needed to enroll in schools and pregnant women receive prenatal services. MRNY will also refer migrants to other vital services, including workforce training, adult education classes, and food pantries.