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3 Reasons Why Medical Deportation is an Ethical Practice

For obvious reasons, “deportation” can be a highly contentious issue. Many immigrants face deportation from the United States for reasons that are not clearly defined by law, leading many to feel that the practice is unethical and corrupt. Medical deportation, however, is a separate practice. Medical deportation refers to the deportation of immigrants—documented or undocumented—who have long-term health problems and require care in their home country.

Often, this group of immigrants cannot receive adequate care in the United States due to lack of health insurance coverage. What differentiates medical deportation from other types of deportation is that it is grounded in an ethical principle–the concept that immigrants who cannot receive proper care in the United States, for any reason, must go to a hospital where they can be adequately cared for. Below are a few reasons why medical deportation is actually a much more ethical practice than it may seem: 


Medical deportation Ensures Immigrants High-Quality Care 

It’s no secret that the healthcare system in the United States is not easy to navigate. Medical care for undocumented immigrants is often prohibitively expensive, and insurance premiums are often too high to afford. This is especially true for many immigrant families, who are often not insured due to financial restrictions, and often have no savings in place to cover medical emergency costs. 

Compounding the issue is the fact that immigrants tend to do more labor-intensive work compared to natural US citizens, which can put the immigrant population at a higher risk for work-related injuries. Many medical centers in the US are not equipped with sufficient translation services to help them, which means the quality of care is often compromised as a result. Medical deportation is a solution for immigrants who do not have insurance and who may experience a language barrier that prevents them from receiving adequate care outside of their home country.


It Gives Immigrants Access to Rehabilitative Services 

When emergencies do happen to immigrants in the United States, they often can receive immediate care because the acute care facilities are required by law to care for anyone who walks through their doors. However, US law does not require coverage of any rehabilitative care for individuals without health insurance. This often means that even if (despite language or insurance barriers) immigrants receive acute care, they may not have sufficient funds to cover the necessary rehabilitation services they need to fully recover and return to work.

Without work, they may not be able to provide for their families or pay for basic living expenses. Medical deportation prevents these immigrants from having to live in the US while they are impoverished and still unwell. It ensures that immigrants have access to high-quality, long-term medical care in Mexico or their home country.  


It Can Save Lives

Given the harsh restrictions on rehabilitative and continued care for individuals without insurance in the US, patients who need long-term care might not be able to fully recover. Medical deportation gives these patients a chance to fully recover through quality long-term care in an environment best suited to their needs because of the psycho-social comfort that they feel from being in their native country. It’s an ethical solution that allows immigrants the chance at the hope that they deserve.

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