When discussing the topic of deportation in the United States, the medical industry might not seem to be connected. However, it is actually quite common for hospitals to deport undocumented immigrants directly from the hospital while they are receiving care for a chronic disease, according to a recent NPR report.
The term “medical repatriation” describes the transfer of undocumented immigrants who are receiving medical care in the U.S. back to their country of origin. Medical repatriation is becoming more and more common, and as a result, undocumented immigrants may not receive the ongoing medical care that they require.
It is required by law that every person (documented or not) have access to medical care if they need it. With that said, there is no law that requires hospitals and treating physicians to provide ongoing care to an individual with a chronic disease. Because of this, an undocumented individual can be at risk of being deported directly from the hospital – and sometimes at the most inhumane times, like in the middle of the night when they are still being treated.
The rise in medical repatriation can be attributed to the high costs of medical care. Sadly, hospitals and the medical industry justify their actions due to those high costs and end up kicking out undocumented individuals even when they are in need of more care.
If you have questions about how immigration status affects medical care in the United States, contacting an attorney can be very helpful in determining your legal rights.
Remember that whether you are a U.S. citizen or not, hospitals are required to provide a level of care to treat your injuries or illness. How high the level of care goes, however, may not always be the same for all individuals in the United States.