More Immigrants Delaying Care
An increasing number of immigrants "are delaying care or retreating into a parallel universe of bootleg remedies and unlicensed practitioners," the New York Times reports. According to the Times, immigrants "have long been on the fringes of medical care," but health care experts, providers and patients maintain that, over the past 10 years and "especially since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, steps to include them have faltered in a political climate increasingly hostile to those who face barriers of language, cost and fear of penalties like deportation."
In 2005, 20 states introduced 80 bills to limit access to health services for noncitizens or require that providers inform authorities about patients who have violated immigration laws. Most of the bills were not enacted, but many states this year likely will consider revised versions of the legislation.
Tanya Broder, a public benefits attorney in California, said, "We've seen a real rise in anti-immigration measures across the country, and it's engendered confusion and fear that prevent immigrant families from getting the care they need."
Dan Stein -- president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that supports stricter immigration laws -- said, "It will never be acceptable for people to break our laws and then expect taxpayers to provide health care" (Bernstein, New York Times, 3/3).