Living in the Shadows: No Bail and No Healthcare

By Valeria Fernández, Reporting on Health Collaborative

Ruth Carmina Álvarez in jail. Photo: Dan Devivo.

Ruth Carmina Álvarez in jail. Photo: Dan Devivo.

In Arizona, undocumented immigrants who are arrested are held without bail.  The law has a particular impact on immigrants who need healthcare. One undocumented woman, Ruth, was diagnosed with breast cancer, and she was preparing for a mastectomy, when she was arrested and accused of identity theft for working with false papers. Although the date of her surgery was getting close, she was still in jail when Valeria Fernández interviewed her. 

Full Story Only Available in Spanish At This Time.

LOGO ROH_SHADOWSAbout Living in the Shadows: This project results from the Reporting On Health Collaborative, which involves MundoHispánico in Atlanta, New America Media in California and New York, Radio Bilingüe in Oakland, WESA Pittsburgh (an NPR affiliate), Univision Los Angeles (KMEX 34); Univision Arizona (KTVW 33), and The Collaborative is an initiative of The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

We Want to Hear from You! As the Living in the Shadows series unfolds, we welcome your ideas. You are part of the story too and we invite you to share your perspective and experiences by writing to, calling us at (213) 640-7534 or by joining the conversations on these topics on Facebook at or on Twitter at @immighealth.

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