Commentaries

Archives: Commentary

Immigrant Health and the Moral Scandal of the “Public Charge” Rule

A long-antic­i­­pat­ed pol­i­cy change pro­posed by the Trump admin­is­tra­tion that would count the use of many fed­er­al­­ly-sub­­si­dized pro­grams against immi­grants cur­rent­ly eli­gi­ble to use them threat­ens pub­lic health and would under­mine eth­i­cal prac­tice in health pro­fes­sions and sys­tems. The pol­i­cy would expand the def­i­n­i­tion of a pub­lic charge, some­one like­ly to become depen­dent on gov­ern­ment […]

Beyond Breaking News: Ways of Seeing Migrants and Their Children

In his icon­ic 1977 essay on migra­tion, A Sev­enth Man: A Book of Images and Words about the Expe­ri­ence of Migrant Work­ers in Europe, John Berg­er wrote: “To try to under­stand the expe­ri­ence of anoth­er it is nec­es­sary to dis­man­tle the world as seen from one’s own place with­in it, and to reassem­ble it as […]

Migrants’ Lives, Immigration Policy, and Ethics Work

The Russ­ian poet Anna Akhma­to­va was a moth­er sep­a­rat­ed from her child by a state pol­i­cy of ter­ror. Dur­ing the 1930s, she and oth­er moth­ers would gath­er out­side a Leningrad prison, des­per­ate for infor­ma­tion. One day, after 17 months of “wait­ing in prison queues,” anoth­er woman whis­pered to her, “‘Could one ever describe this?’ And […]

Shocking the Conscience: Justice Department versus the Health of Immigrant Women and Children

In April, the U.S. Jus­tice Depart­ment announced that it would crim­i­nal­ly pros­e­cute migrants who had been appre­hend­ed after cross­ing the U.S.-Mexico. bor­der. An imme­di­ate con­se­quence of this announce­ment, explained in detail here, is the sep­a­ra­tion of chil­dren from their par­ents. Rather than being allowed to stay with their chil­dren in an immi­grant deten­tion cen­ter while […]

Fair Care

Emma’s sto­ry, in show­ing the real­i­ty of glob­al eco­nom­ic migra­tion, rais­es sig­nif­i­cant ques­tions about glob­al ethics. The cur­rent sys­tem has many ben­e­fits: poor nations receive remit­tances from fam­i­ly mem­bers work­ing abroad, while rich nations are pro­vid­ed with a labor source for low-sta­­tus work and with a mar­ket for goods used pri­mar­i­ly by low-wage migrants. Employ­ers […]

The Supreme Court and Health Care Access for Undocumented Immigrants

The fol­low­ing com­men­tary is re-post­ed from Bioethics Forum, a blog of The Hast­ings Cen­ter. The Supreme Court announced that it will hear a legal chal­lenge to Pres­i­dent Obama’s 2014 exec­u­tive action to pro­tect an esti­mat­ed five mil­lion undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants from depor­ta­tion and per­mit them to work legal­ly. The imple­men­ta­tion of the Deferred Action for Par­ents of Amer­i­cans […]

No ID in NC: Undocumented Immigrants and the Identification Problem

The fol­low­ing com­men­tary is re-post­ed from Bioethics Forum, a blog of The Hast­ings Cen­ter. On Octo­ber 28, North Car­oli­na Gov­er­nor Pat McCro­ry signed HB 318, the “Pro­tect North Car­oli­na Work­ers Act.” This new exam­ple of state-lev­­el anti-immi­­grant leg­is­la­tion, a trend that had been cur­tailed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 deci­sion in Ari­zona v. Unit­ed States, is aimed […]

Get with the Program

Jef­frey Toobin, in his arti­cle about the Flo­re­ses, a mixed-sta­­tus fam­i­ly, describes a “com­pre­hen­sive break­down in pub­lic pol­i­cy” with regard to immi­gra­tion reform (“Amer­i­can Lim­bo,” July 27th). I write as a co-direc­­tor of the Undoc­u­ment­ed Patients Project at the Hast­ings Cen­ter. Fam­i­lies like the Flo­re­ses have also been sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly exclud­ed from pub­lic ben­e­fits that pro­vide […]

Medical Education as Mission: Why One Medical School Chose to Accept DREAMers

Mark G. Kuczews­ki and Lin­da Brubak­er, “Med­ical Edu­ca­tion as Mis­sion: Why One Med­ical School Chose to Accept DREAM­ers,” The Hast­ings Cen­ter Report 43, no. 6 (2013): 21–24. DOI: 10.1002/hast.230 Abstract: In Octo­ber 2012, the Loy­ola Uni­ver­si­ty Chica­go Stritch School of Med­i­cine amend­ed its eli­gi­bil­i­ty require­ments for admis­sion. In addi­tion to U.S. cit­i­zens and per­ma­nent res­i­dents, per­sons who qual­i­fy for the […]

Undocumented Patients and the Not-So-Safe Safety Net

Car­o­line Rath,” Undoc­u­ment­ed Patients and the Not-So-Safe Safe­ty Net,” Hast­ings Cen­ter Report 43, no. 5 (2013):  inside back cov­er. DOI: 10.1002/hast.212 Abstract: Work­ing in an urban safe­ty net facil­i­ty, my col­leagues and I dai­ly face any num­ber of chal­lenges. In some respects, an undoc­u­ment­ed immi­gra­tion sta­tus is just anoth­er one of those chal­lenges. How­ev­er, it is a par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ing one […]