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IJERPH, Vol. 14, Pages 1107: Refugee Policy Implications of U.S. Immigration Medical Screenings: A New Era of Inadmissibility on Health-Related Grounds

24 Sep 2017

IJERPH, Vol. 14, Pages 1107: Refugee Policy Implications of U.S. Immigration Medical Screenings: A New Era of Inadmissibility on Health-Related Grounds

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph14101107

Authors:
Mi-Kyung Hong
Reshma Varghese
Charulata Jindal
Jimmy Efird

Refugees frequently face extended delays in their efforts to enter the United States (U.S.) and those who are successful, in many cases, encounter overwhelming obstacles, inadequate resources, and a complex system of legal barriers. Travel restrictions based on equivocal health concerns and a drop in refugee admittance ceilings have complicated the situation. The authors retrieved and analyzed peer-reviewed journal articles, government agency press releases, media postings, epidemiologic factsheets, and relevant lay publications to critically assess U.S. policy regarding refugee resettlement based on health-related grounds. While refugees arguably exhibit an increased incidence of measles and tuberculosis compared with the U.S. population, the legitimacy of the medical examination will be undermined if other diseases that are endemic to refugee populations, yet currently deemed admissible, are used to restrict refugees from entering the U.S. This paper addressees the historic refugee policy of the U.S. and its consequent effect on the health of this vulnerable population. The needs of refugees should be carefully considered in the context of increased disease burden and the associated health care challenges of the country as a whole.

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