News Round Up In-Brief
- The Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey deported a comatose 69-year-old undocumented immigrant to Poland without securing his consent or informing the Polish diplomats working on his case, after the hospital discovered he had no health insurance.
- An immigration overhaul bill passed in the Senate, but has stalled in the House due to Republican opposition to a “pathway to citizenship” for the nation’s undocumented immigrants. While the Obama administration champions the Senate bill, some on the political left say its pathway to legal status is too grueling, and some immigrant advocates believe its stipulations for strengthening “border security” will worsen the conflict between militarization and human rights on the border. (Here, the Southern Arizona humanitarian organization No More Deaths provides a full explanation for its opposition to the bill.)
- Now in the House, the Senate immigration bill seems likely only to be watered down: a bipartisan team is working on a piecemeal reform bill to go before that body’s Republican majority.
- A controversial but little-discussed provision of the immigration bill known as E-Verify would require all American employers to verify the legal eligibility of all new hires to work, using a federal electronic database.
- The Senate immigration bill requires immigrants on the track to citizenship to pay into Medicaid and other government health programs for their entire 15-year term of probationary status before they can access such affordable health care options themselves.
- In California, some counties seek to defy the federal Affordable Care Act’s denial of affordable health care to undocumented immigrants. Believing that a lack of access to preventive care will only cost local governments more in the long run, advocates are lobbying state and federal officials for ways to provide preventive care to the state’s 2.6 million undocumented residents.
- Due to the exclusionary terms of the Affordable Care Act, it seems possible that employers could avoid federal government-imposed penalties for providing workers with inadequate health insurance by employing newly legalized (probationary) immigrants in place of U.S. citizens or legal residents.
- A study published in the journal Health Affairs found that, from 2000 to 2009, unauthorized immigrants’ health care expenditures were significantly lower than spending by legal residents.
- Another Health Affairs study found that immigrants contributed $115.2 billion more to the Medicare Trust Fund than they removed from 2002 to 2009.
- A federal court substantiated reports of racial profiling by law enforcement officers in Maricopa County, Arizona under the watch of infamous and openly racist sheriff Joe Arpaio.
- The recent Defense of Marriage (DOMA) Supreme Court decision has had implications for LGBT immigrant families.
- UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced plans for a registration and tracking system that will allow health care providers to identify patients who are ineligible for free health care under the National Health Service. The system is one facet of the British government’s new campaign to “crack down” on non-Britons’ use of government services. Another new policy will require new migrants to pay a levy of at least £1,000 upfront to cover health care costs for their first five years in the country.
- UK-based scholar Nando Sigona reflects on the new significance of the UK Independence Party in British politics, which he argues pushed this year’s Queen’s Speech toward right-wing approaches to migration. The speech linked intra-EU mobility rhetorically to non-EU immigration, criminalizing both types of migrants for their use of British government services.
- In Canada, cuts to refugee health care remain controversial as a virtual standoff continues between the country’s major medical associations and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. Kenney has refused to meet with the groups to discuss their observations of damaging denials of coverage to refugee patients.
The summer 2013 issue of Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is themed “Immigration & the Future of America.” Readers of Access Denied may be interested in:
Prepared by Rachel Stonecipher