Archive for January, 2010

What do Haitian Earthquake Survivors and the Super Bowl Have in Common? – Heide Castañeda

January 30, 2010 1 comment

Heide Castañeda
University of South Florida

What do Haitian earthquake survivors and the Super Bowl have in common? They both need the city of Miami.

This week Florida Governor Charlie Crist, in a letter to Kathleen Sebelius, head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, claimed that the state could not take on any more Haitian medical evacuees without straining services. The governor has asked for an end to emergency airlifts, following two flights that delivered additional earthquake victims to Tampa hospitals this week. Currently, about 500 Haitian survivors are being treated in the state’s hospitals, primarily in the Miami area. The “strain on services” comes as the city prepares for “upcoming events such as might result from the large crowds at the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl,” according to a spokesman for the US Army Southern Command.

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Chutes and Ladders: Comprehensive Immigration Reform and Health Care Access for Undocumented Workers – Elizabeth Cartwright

January 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Elizabeth Cartwright
Idaho State University

Immigration problems and issues of access to health care are both manifestations of an increasingly crowded world with dwindling natural resources.  Given the desperation and violence that exist in so many places around the globe, immigration from poorer countries will continue—“legal” or not[i].  Health care, as a resource, will proportionally take up more and more of our national budgets and will be more and more out of reach for those who need it most. The short-term view is that those who are sick/poor are a financial drain and it’s a profit-driven system, so exclude.  A long-term view could have a very different answer.  What is needed for the long-term health, creativity and societal viability of the U.S. is an inclusive approach that maximizes human potential regardless of social and legal status.

For the last ten years I’ve worked with many immigrants from Mexico who now live here in Southeast Idaho[ii]. They come to Idaho for a better life. They have settled down in small agricultural communities, and they have worked hard in the fields, packing plants and small businesses of this region. They are now getting college educations for themselves and for their families. Some have become naturalized citizens; some are still moving through that incredibly slow process.  They go back to Mexico to visit, less often now than in the past, but they still go. Most now say that Idaho is “home”—snow and all.

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News Round-Up (1/10/10) – The Dangers of Detention: Illness and Death in U.S. Custody

January 10, 2010 3 comments

Sarah S. Willen

Just as we were dotting ‘i’s and crossing ‘t’s for this latest news round-up, Nina Bernstein’s front-page article in today’s New York Times, “Officials Hid Truth About Immigrant Deaths in Jail,” hammered home the risks and dangers of being ill or injured in a United States immigration prison.  The piece foregrounds the 2007 deaths – in ICE custody – of Nery Romero, originally from El Salvador, and Boubacar Bah, originally from Guinea.

Bernstein’s reporting was facilitated by the recent release of thousands of pages of confidential documents – among them memos, draft reports, “talking points,” and Blackberry messages – to the NYT and the ACLU under the Freedom of Information Act. Read more…