A coalition of groups in the migration industry is demanding the government provide more “healthcare visas” to help illegal migrants use Americans’ health care dollars.
A matching lawsuit filed by the ACLU on September 5 revealed the hidden payments from Boston hospitals to a local law firm which gets visas for penniless and sick illegal migrants. The visas safeguard the quiet flow of taxpayers’ dollars to the hospitals’ billing departments and then back to the law firms.
The ACLU also admits that Congress never approved the healthcare visas. Yet the ACLU also demands the judge declare the U.S. constitution bars agency leaders from blocking the distribution of the visas for illegals by officials at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency.
The industry demand for more visas comes after the Department of Homeland Security reportedly tightened its rules to say illegals who want extraordinary permission to stay for medical care must first go through the deportation process. The policy reportedly replaces the little-known practice of allowing illegals to quietly get the visas — dubbed “deferred action” approvals — to stay for medical care before officials begin the deportation process.
“Only by reversing the policy in its entirety—by wholly restoring USCIS’s acceptance and adjudication of deferred action requests—can the agency continue to ensure that vulnerable children and families are able to receive life-saving protection,” said a September 4 letter from 150 migration-industry groups. The signers include the Americal Immigration Lawyers Association, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, and the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
The group’s letter also follows an August 30 missive signed by 127 Democratic legislators, asking for information about the program.
On September 2, the USCIS agency took a step back from its August 7 policy shift and promised to grandfather the prior approvals awarded to sick illegal immigrants. That concession was made under campaign pressure from Joe Biden, but it is not enough for the 150 immigration groups, which told government officials that:
This shift needlessly places severely ill children, as well as other vulnerable individuals throughout the nation, at risk of deportation and even death. The agency’s commitment to re-opening denied deferred action requests … marks an initial corrective step, but that action does not go nearly far enough to protect lives that remain at risk due to the underlying change in policy.
We therefore respectfully request that you immediately and fully restore USCIS’s deferred action adjudications.
The September 4 letter is being backed up by a September 5 lawsuit from the ACLU, which demanded the judge “Declare that all actions taken by the [government] defendants to terminate USCIS field offices’authority to grant deferred action in non-military cases are in violation of the Constitution.”
Trump's deputies reduce plan to curb the number of overstay illegals using US healthcare after Joe Buden accused officials of cruelly wanting to 'unplug' sick kids. It seems DHS/USCIS will grandfather existing patients but block future arrivals. https://t.co/snx3dTkJeD
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) September 2, 2019
The ACLU lawsuit also admitted the hidden practice of awarding health care visas is not established by any law, saying “USCIS’s deferred action authority was developed through decades of practice, not through regulation.”
The ACLU lawsuit, however, also exposes the trail of taxpayer money to the hospitals and then to the law firms which get the healthcare visas for the impoverished patients who can generate hospital bills for payment by taxpayers.
The ACLU identified one law firm which got visas for the patients as the Boston-based Irish International Immigrant Center. The IIRC law firm also gets paid by two hospitals, the ACLU says:
More recently, in order to expand the IIIC’s ability to meet the needs of hospital patients for deferred action andother legal services, the IIIC has developed more formalized partnerships with two local hospitals that provide specific financial support for this work. These partnerships allow the IIIC to deliver legal services to critically ill patients, including consultations and representation for deferred action and other avenues of relief when available.
The 2019 funding allowed the IIIC to provide full representation to ten new clients who are patients at one of the two partner hospitals, including three who were seeking deferred action based on a serious medical need.
Many of the IIIC’s current or future clients would face substantial hindrances if they were to attempt to bring litigation to vindicate their own interests with respect to deferred action. For example, the IIIC’s clients include children who cannot file suit on their own behalf, adults who are absorbed in important health care decisions and in the day-to-day needs of their children’s treatment, and families who are terrified of public attention and of any real or perceived dispute with the federal government, from whom they, by definition, wish to secure relief. The IIIC’s clients also include adults who are unable to communicate and/or are terminally ill.
The ACLU does not estimate the revenue for the healthcare visa business.
However, other data suggest that officials approve 2,000 healthcare visas each year. If each visa allows a hospital to claim just $100,000 a year in government payments for two years, then the overall business generates $400 million for the hospitals and law firms.
If each visa generates $200,000 in hospital billing for two years, then the visa business brings $800 million each year to hospitals and law firms.
Many of the IIIC’s clients are either extremely ill or care for extremely sick children, according to the lawsuit. They include, says the ACLU:
The [foreign] mother of a six-month-old U.S. citizen who suffered a neonatal stroke.
The [foreign] mother of a ten-month-old U.S. citizen who has been hospitalized eight of those ten months with multiple complex diagnoses, including ambiguous genitalia, corneal clouding, and autoimmune interopathy.
A six-year-old with multiple diagnoses who is undergoing testing, is confined to a wheelchair, and uses a feeding tube, and his mother.
The [foreign] parents of a six-year-old U.S. citizen with more than 20 complex diagnoses arising from premature birth, including developmental delays, chronic lung disease, pulmonary hypertension, and encephalopathy (damage or disease to the brain).
A seven-year-old with a severe form of epilepsy involving multiple seizures a day and a risk of sudden death, and his mother and sibling.
A ten-year-old blinded by eye cancer, and her mother.
A 12-year-old with cerebral palsy who is confined to a wheelchair, suffers seizures, and is scheduled for major surgery later this month, and his parents.
A 13-year-old with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, and his mother.
A 16-year-old with cystic fibrosis and his parents.
An 18-year-old with burns over 70% of his body and immobilized arms and hands, who has been undergoing reconstructive surgery in order to clear scar tissue obstructing his mouth and ears, and his mother.
A 24-year-old suffering complications from a bone marrow transplant performed to treat his leukemia, and his parents and minor sibling
The signers on the AILA letter include many groups which also operate as law firms. They include the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, Oasis Legal Services, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, Health Law Advocates, Inc., Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, Lawyers For Children, and MALDEF.
Government officials have not revealed how many illegals nationwide have been allowed to stay for life saving care, nor the estimated cost of caring for the sick foreigners.
Officials have also not explained how they select the lucky few foreigners who are allowed to “deferred action” stay, amid the many, many millions of sick people in Africa, Asia, India, South America, and Europe who are dying of treatable diseases.
Anecdotal reports say many illegals come to American for healthcare. Other working illegals become ill from diabetes and other diseases as they grow older in the United States.
So-called “health tourism” is a growing problem in the United Kingdom where sick people can enroll themselves in British hospitals to receive taxpayer-funded care once they get past customs officials. Breitbart News reported in June:
Health tourism is believed to cost British taxpayers between £200 million and £2 billion every year. However, Dr Jackie Appleby, who proposed the motion, calls the millions — and potentially billions — of annual lost healthcare funding “peanuts in the grand scheme of things”.
Dr Duried Syad Ali, who opposed the motion [approving healthcare for foreigners], warned that “Accepting this motion is sending the wrong message to the world, inviting everyone to free health care,” while [opponent] Dr George Rae said: “The message coming from the BMA is… get on the plane, get on the boat because you will get treatment on the NHS for nothing.”
In California, Democrats have pushed for rules allowing illegal migrants to receive free taxpayer care. In June, Breitbart News reported:
The Democrat-dominated legislature of California has approved a plan to spend $213 billion in state and federal tax dollars on free healthcare for illegal immigrants.
The new plan would allow low-income illegals making about $17,000 a year between 19 and 25 years of age to join California’s Medicaid program, KHOU reported.
Democrats estimate that at least 90,000 illegal aliens would immediately qualify for the benefits at the cost of $98 million a year. The new plan also makes California the first U.S. state to give illegals free healthcare.
Sen. Chuck Schumer urges DHS to not deport the growing # of illegals who rely on life-saving US healthcare. OK, but he could lead by drafting a 2020 law to efficiently allocate US healthcare $$ among Americans & the limitless supply of foreign patients. https://t.co/MLxW826GEx
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) September 4, 2019