Immigrants facing deportation by U.S. hospitals
New York Times, August 4, 2008
Many American hospitals are taking it upon themselves to repatriate seriously injured or ill immigrants because they cannot find nursing homes willing to accept them. Medicaid does not cover long-term care for illegal immigrants, or for newly arrived legal immigrants, creating a quandary for hospitals obligated by federal regulation to arrange post-hospital care for patients who need it.
American immigration authorities play no role in these private repatriations, and most hospitals say that they do not conduct cross-border transfers until patients are medically stable and that they arrange to deliver them into a physician's care in their homeland. But the hospitals are operating without governmental assistance or oversight, leaving ample room for legal and ethical transgressions on both sides of the border.