The DACA Health and Well-being project, led by Dr. Christina Getrich with students Kaelin Rapport, Alaska Burdette, Ana Ortez-Rivera, and Delmis Umanzor, published their first article titled “Navigating a fragmented health care landscape: DACA recipients' shifting access to health care” in the journal of Social Science and Medicine. The article examines local DACA recipients ' shifting access to care. 


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients face an uncertain fate as their future in the United States is being debated. Yet even before the program was introduced in June 2012 and became endangered in September 2017, they encountered challenges in navigating a fragmented health care landscape throughout the United States. This paper focuses on DACA recipients' experiences in accessing health care throughout their lives, both before and after receiving DACA. We conducted semi-structured interviews and questionnaires with 30 DACA recipients living in Maryland between April–December 2016. Participants represented 13 countries of origin and ranged in age between 18 and 28. Results demonstrate that DACA recipients have had punctuated coverage throughout their lives and continue to face constrained access despite temporary gains in status. Health care access is further stratified within their mixed-status families. Participants have also experienced shifts in their health care coverage due to moving between jurisdictions with variable eligibility and changing life circumstances related to family, school, and employment. This article underscores the importance of examining young adult immigrants' access to care over time as they weather changes in the broader policy context and in highly variable contexts of reception nationwide, shaped by state, but also county and city policies and programs. The challenges and gaps in coverage DACA recipients face also underscore the need for both health care and immigration reform.

To the read the full article, visit:

Getrich, C.M., K. Rapport, A. Burette, A. Ortez-Rivera, and D. Umanzor. Navigating a fragmented health care landscape: DACA recipients' shifting access to health care. Social Science and Medicine 2019; 223:8-15.


DACA crew