Sunday, November 09, 2008

Kick the Sick Out of the Country

I had no idea you can deport U.S. citizens and legal immigrants just because they're sick and uninsured:

GILA BEND, Ariz. — Soon after Antonio Torres, a husky 19-year-old farmworker, suffered catastrophic injuries in a car accident last June, a Phoenix hospital began making plans for his repatriation to Mexico.

Mr. Torres was comatose and connected to a ventilator. He was also a legal immigrant whose family lives and works in the purple alfalfa fields of this southwestern town. But he was uninsured. So the hospital disregarded the strenuous objections of his grief-stricken parents and sent Mr. Torres on a four-hour journey over the California border into Mexicali.


In the case of Elliott Bustamante, a hospital in Tucson moved speedily, and ultimately unsuccessfully, to transfer a sickly infant to Mexico, ignoring the mother’s opposition and the fact that Elliott was an American citizen born with Down syndrome and a heart problem at that very hospital.


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