Documentary to reveal the lack of healthcare undocumented immigrants face

Kennedy Nolen, Multicultural Reporter

A showing of the documentary Clínica de Migrantes: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness will be at 5 p.m. in Lumpkin Hall Room 2030 as part of Latin Heritage Month at Eastern.

Juanita Cross, chair of the Latin Heritage Month committee, said she plans to Skype Maxim Pozdorovkin, the director of the documentary after the showing to answer questions.

Pozdorovkin has a Ph.D. from Harvard and is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and media curator. He has had two films presented at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013 and 2014.

The medical drama is about a health clinic in Philadelphia, which is one of the only health clinics in the United States that provides healthcare to undocumented immigrants. The clinic Puentes de Salud helps patients at no cost, which may be controversial.

In the documentary, the camera follows the founders Dr. Steve Larson and Dr. Jack Ludmir as they reconstruct how they started in a loaned clinical center in 2004 until they began their own clinic at the intersection of South Street and 17th Street.

By law, undocumented immigrants cannot obtain health insurance nor receive regular medical treatment. Larson led a team of volunteers at the clinic who tended to a growing population of housekeepers, preparation cooks and construction workers.

The documentary puts a face to the millions of people who exist on the margins of society, according to

Since many hospitals turn away undocumented immigrants, those in need end up at this clinic for medical attention.

The 2016, 39-minute documentary tells the story of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and the doctors and nurses who work pro bono to help them when they need it most.

Clínica de Migrantes shows the evolution of the clinic, but also follows the most prevalent cases in patients including pregnancies in young women, physical and emotional pains, neglected diabetes and an immigrant with terminal leukemia.

“I think they will learn about something that I didn’t even know about,” Cross said. “It is an opportunity to learn about (the undocumented immigrants) population and their challenges.”

Kennedy Nolen can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].

Preview can be watched here: