Hospitals 'deport' hundreds of undocumented immigrants

During the past five years, hospitals sent home at least 600 illegal immigrants via an obscure removal system, according to data from hospitals, humanitarian organizations, news reports and immigrant advocates. Using "medical repatriation," the hospitals "deport" patients, often unconscious and unable to protest, to avoid paying for long-term care after serious illness or injury, the Associated Press reported. Hospital executives say having to provide care to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay or immigration status under EMTALA (the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act), along with the political battle over immigration, has put them in a Catch-22, according to the AP. Article