The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the studies that have focused on undocumented aliens from Mexico, to discuss barriers that inhibit their use of mental health services, and to outline ways in which social workers employed in mental health institutions can become actively involved in helping this group. Since 1900, immigration to the United States from Mexico has followed a pattern of continuing legal and illegal entry; legal alien families from Mexico are defined as those who have been legally admitted to the U.S., whereas undocumented families.are those residing in the U.S. who have entered illegally. Mexico has supplied more immigrants with United States working visas between 1957 and 1966 than any other country. However, an unknown number of Mexicans enter the country illegally; for example, the AFL-CIO estimates the total number of illegal aliens residing in the U.S. is over eight million.

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