The recent shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida that targeted mainly LGBT Latinos shed light on the violent environment that many face daily in this country. In the wake of this tragedy we also learned of the lingering effects of violence on some marginalized people. Even in death many cannot experience the dignity they were deprived in life. Due to the Federal Immigration System many of the undocumented victims and their families cannot receive the proper resources to mourn and bury their dead.
Resources for funeral cost, medical bills and travel is unavailable to some in this community of victims due to their “undocumented” status. Nearly 2.8 million people under the age of 65 are uninsured in Florida (2nd in the USA) 384,000 of which are undocumented according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (2015) Undocumented immigrants in Florida don't qualify for many government -sponsored insurance programs and many cannot receive employment that will allow them to plan properly for the the event of such tragedies. Private health insurance is an option, but in a population where there average yearly income is $22,050 it is very unlikely for many to afford. This doesn't even include the ongoing care for survivors and mental health care need to resolve such a traumatic experience.
We believe that regardless of status, all people deserve both dignity in life and death. For some we must work to insure that the dignity denied to them in their lives does not continue in their death by working to providing them with resources for a proper, dignified burial and memorial. Which is what we all deserve.
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