A child in rural Arizona with type 1 diabetes is not able to see a pediatric endocrinologist because his undocumented parents are afraid to travel through the immigration checkpoint that stands between their home and the specialty referral center two hours away.

“We are currently managing his condition over the telephone with their specialist,” said the child’s pediatrician, who asked not to be identified to protect his patients whose parents risk deportation. “This is not optimal care.”

While the child is a U.S. citizen and legally entitled to health care through Medicaid, his parents are not citizens. “They’re afraid of being deported, and if they are, they’re concerned that the quality of care for their son would be lower in Mexico,” the pediatrician said.

Since passage of a new stringent immigration law in Arizona this spring, undocumented parents of children who are U.S. citizens are increasingly fearful of deportation. As...

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