The Costs and Challenges of Dealing with an Influx of Immigrants in Des Moines

Topics: America

As the city of Des Moines is becoming more and more diverse, the main public hospital, Broadlawns Medical Center, has become a major immigrant service provider in the city. Many foreign languages are spoken by students as well as many diverse groups hang around the same areas. At least 10 percent of Des Moines’ population identifies as “foreign born” and many institutions have been forced to adapt to this change, which in turn becomes more challenging as for the expenses and assimilating to every culture.

These costs have shown to be a “burden” that immigrants tend to bring to America’s social safety net. Dan Stein, the president of the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform, had said that “You only have so much public money available… If you’re spending it all on remedial education and language training for health services, not on infrastructure for the super-powered economy for tomorrow, where are you going to be?” (Cave, 2014)1

Although Broadlawns is a flourishing hospital, many of these patients are poor Americans who are uninsured, but the patients that are seen to be here legally, are usually working and paying their taxes.

Since most of these immigrants use Medicaid, it means that they rely on the federal government because they can’t afford private insurance or have employee benefits. Jan Mickelson argued that companies should do more in order to take on the burden of the social cost of immigrants rather than the middle class taxpayers having to deal with this burden. Many doctors seem to believe that the hospital has the ability and capacity to continue to have immigrants become a regular part of the hospital’s daily life as well as embracing and identifying the challenges they face.

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This article relates to the course because as we discussed in class, there can be many push or pull factors such as economic hardships or natural disasters that cause people to emigrate from one country to another country. There’s formal economic growth and informal economic growth they may also push or pull a person to migrate. Formal economic growth such as urbanization, industrialization, and recruitment of labor have motivated many people to move to the United States as well as informal economic growth such as smuggling and paying for coyotes.

De Moines is becoming more diverse possibly by both informal and formal ways of economic growth, but as mentioned in the article, most likely formal ways of economic growth, since most of them are there legally as well as working and paying taxes. Because of the increase of many different people who speak different languages and different cultures, it makes it harder to accommodate to every single individual living in this city as well as the impact of influences made by many of these people from different backgrounds. The need for translators, education, and health care individuals can also affect the economy of this city as well.

Although there are many challenges when dealing with an influx of immigrants to a particular area, besides having companies bearing the burden for the social cost of immigrant labor or shifting the expenses to middle class taxpayers, what other solutions could be done to help with the costs and keeping public money available as well as enforcing it at a national and local level?

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The Costs and Challenges of Dealing with an Influx of Immigrants in Des Moines. (2022, Dec 16). Retrieved from

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