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  1. Chandler, Juliet T. PhD, JD, FNP
  2. Malone, Ruth E. PhD, RN
  3. Thompson, Lisa M. PhD, FNP
  4. Rehm, Roberta S. PhD, RN, FAAN


This interpretive phenomenological study explored the health care-seeking experiences of undocumented Mexican immigrant women. Interviews and observations were conducted with 26 uninsured Mexican immigrant women with a chronic illness residing in California. Participant narratives revealed that their health care seeking experiences were often characterized by a lack of recognition of their human plight and devaluation of their personhood. Both structural and social barriers to care exist for immigrant women. Modifying current policies to allow undocumented immigrants more options to access care could help reduce stigma, reduce suffering, and encourage clinicians to recognize their humanity and their legitimate medical needs.