Hospitals Save Money by Deporting Patients

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
(photo: Best Care Air)

Being in the United States illegally while seriously ill or injured can result in being illegally deported out of the United States.


In what’s known as “medical repatriation,” hundreds of unauthorized immigrants have been kicked out of the U.S.—not by the government, but by hospitals that don’t want to pay for their medical care.


The Center for Social Justice at Seton Hall and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest documented at least 600 immigrants who were victims of medical repatriation in the past five years.


The process often involves hospitals putting patients on chartered international flights and shipping them out of the country, all without going through the government’s deportation system.


“The problem is it’s all taking place in this unregulated sort of a black hole...and there is no tracking,” law professor Lori Nessel, director of the Center for Social Justice at Seton Hall Law School, told the Associated Press.


Advocates for immigrants say the number of medical repatriation cases may increase once the federal healthcare reform law goes into effect. This is because the new law will reduce government payments to hospitals that receive uninsured patients, which could tempt some administrators to send packing immigrants who are in the country illegally instead of eating the cost of caring for them.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

US Hospitals Send Hundreds of Immigrants Back Home (by David Pitt, Associated Press)

Discharge, Deportation, and Dangerous Journeys; A Study on the Practice of Medical Repatriation (Seton Hall University School of Law’s Center for Social Justice and the Health Justice Program at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest) (pdf)


dn 3 years ago
GOOD, people in this country illegally SHOULD be sent back to their country of origin, the place in which they contribute to the economy. Why should we the US provide healthcare at NO COST to people here illegally??

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