Who’s Still Missing: Arguments for the Inclusion of Undocumented Immigrants in Universal Healthcare
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AbstractThere are many arguments that have been deployed to argue for the inclusion of immigrants in the Affordable Care Act. The first, the “effortful immigrant frame,” argues that immigrants generally come to the United States for work and often take up employment in hard labor jobs with unsafe working conditions—jobs that most U.S. citizens do not in fact want. Based on their contributions to society, proponents of this viewpoint offer, they ought to qualify for health benefits. A second, and similar, frame is the injustice frame, which offers that undocumented immigrants are a victimized group and should be offered services which relieve their suffering and thus work towards social justice. Other frames focus on public health as the ultimate goal, stating that immigrants ought to be provided with healthcare services because doing so ultimately provides a public benefit. This is based on the idea that immigrants represent a hazard to the general population by introducing communicable diseases. Without screening, treatment, and immunizations, undocumented immigrants are thus a risk to American Citizens. As such, they ought to be provided with care that protects the rest of the country.