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What are medical deportations?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2023 | Immigration Law

Medical deportations, also known as “medical removals,” refer to the practice of deporting or removing immigrants (documented or otherwise), from the United States based on their medical condition or health status. This means that people facing serious medical issues or those with significant medical needs are sent back to their home countries – regardless of the lives they’ve established here or the limited potential for medical treatment in their home country.

The negative impact of medical deportations on immigrants’ lives is significant and raises ethical and human rights concerns. Here are some ways in which medical deportations can negatively affect immigrants:

Diminished access to medical care

Medical deportations can deprive individuals of access to essential medical treatment. In most cases, immigrants facing serious medical conditions may have been receiving treatment in the host country, and deportation could result in interrupted or unavailable care once they are removed to their home countries. Deporting someone with a serious medical condition could put their life at risk. In some cases, the medical facilities, expertise or medications needed to manage their medical condition may not even be available in their home country – which can lead to tragic consequences.

Family separations and financial devastation

Medical deportations can separate families when a patient is forcibly removed from the country while their loved ones remain behind. This can lead to emotional distress and psychological trauma that negatively affects the well-being of everyone involved. Being forcibly removed can also lead to financial instability for both the immigrant in question and their kin. Immigrants facing medical deportation might have jobs, businesses and community ties in this country that they lack in their homelands.

Lack of due process

Medical facilities sometimes have a lot of financial pressure on them to “free up a bed,” so there can be a rush to judgment and a push for deportation without proper consideration of the patient’s needs. Medical deportations do not always follow the proper legal procedures or due process, further infringing on an immigrants’ rights. International human rights standards emphasize the prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Medical deportations that risk an immigrant’s health and expose them to inadequate medical care can be seen as violations of these rights.

Challenging medical deportations can be complicated, so aggressive legal action may be needed to stop the process. Seeking legal guidance as proactively as possible is often key to securing a favorable outcome under such circumstances.