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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Lisa Park Talk

PLEASE JOIN US for a talk by Professor Lisa Park on Thursday, May 8th from 11 am - noon in the Scott Hall Commons. The title of the talk is: The Borders Within: Public Charge and the Racial Politics of Immigrant Health Care.

The Borders Within: Public Charge and the Racial Politics of Immigrant Health Care
In the 1990s, Latina and Asian immigrant women of childbearing age were targeted for a series of health care fraud detection programs run by federal immigration authorities and the state Department of Health at international ports of entry in California. This presentation examines how these programs used a long-standing yet little known immigration policy called public charge to control immigrant women's labor and their bodies. I argue that it is, in fact, another iteration of a gendered and deeply racial tool for criminalization of low-income immigrants during a period of heightened neoliberalism. Currently, public charge provisions allow for the forced removal of immigrants as well as the denial of entry of potential immigrants based upon a largely discretionary determination of an individual's potential to become a public burden. Immigrants' potential health care costs are one of the most frequently cited sources of this burden. And, with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which explicitly excludes unauthorized immigrants from health insurance, there is concern that public charge determinations will increase as hospitals are faced with significantly lower federal reimbursements to care for those who are uninsured and low-income, and that immigrants - of various citizenship status - will avoid health care institutions as they become increasingly identified with immigration control.