For years, hospitals across the U.S. have quietly removed severely injured and chronically ill immigrants to other nations to avoid the cost of long-term care. It is a reality that exists in practice but not in policy. There is no formal accounting or regulation of this practice and federal immigration authorities have remained silent despite the fact that alien removals, or deportations, are solely within their jurisdiction. This presentation analyzes narratives within news media accounts and legal debates on medical deportation to assess how health care providers justify this practice and how it operates with so little notice.
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Lisa Sun-Hee Park’s interdisciplinary research focuses on the politics of migration, race, and social policy. Her work examines the ways in which immigrants and communities of color are not only excluded from the rights and protections of social citizenship, but also the problematic ways in which they are included — and, more importantly, how this relationship is interconnected. Her most recent books include: Entitled To Nothing: The Struggle for Immigrant Health Care in the Age of Welfare Reform (NYU 2011), which investigates the impact of federal welfare and immigration policies on Latina and Asian immigrant women’s health care access. And, The Slums of Aspen: Immigrants vs. the Environment in America’s Eden (co-authored with David N. Pellow, NYU 2011), a case study of how environmental initiatives utilize anti-immigrant, population control rhetoric to produce exclusive spaces of privilege within the global economy.