A hospitalized illegal immigrant was transferred to a long-term healthcare facility instead of being deported after activists “raised a stink,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The 48-year-old illegal immigrant from Guatemala, identified by his family as A.V., was originally taken to the Jefferson Torresdale Hospital in Northeast Philadelphia where he was treated for a neurological trauma, two broken legs, and fractured ribs after a motorcycle hit him, the Inquirer reported. Activists reportedly organized at the hospital to physically block any potential efforts to medically repatriate A.V.
“If we had not gone to the hospital and raised a stink, he would be in Guatemala right now, and might not be alive right now,” Director of the Free Migration Project and Philadelphia immigration lawyer David Bennion said, the Inquirer reported.
Based on my understanding covering medical deportation- including A.V.’s case in Philadelphia this week: The decision to deport is made by hospital administrators and it is based on two factors: 1. The patient’s immigration status, and 2. The undocumented patient’s ability to pay
— Tina Vasquez (@TheTinaVasquez) June 25, 2020
The Free Migration Project is an advocacy organization, they support “the right of all people to freely migrate,” according to their website.
Bennion would not say where A.V. was transferred so that Immigration and Customs Enforcement couldn’t find him, the Inquirer reported.
“My uncle is much better, is better attended, and when we talk on the phone he can recognize me, but he is still quite confused,” A.V.’s niece Claudia Martinez said, the Inquirer reported.
“What I want to happen is that he recovers, that he has the care and attention that he needs no matter how long it takes. … My family is in total agreement on what is best for my uncle,” she added. (RELATED: LA Sheriff Refuses To Surrender 25,000 Illegal Immigrant Detainees To ICE: Report)
A spokesperson for Jefferson Torresdale Hospital told the Inquirer, “Jefferson Health transfers patients in coordination with the patient, or if the patient cannot consent, a family member or their legally appointed decision maker. … Jefferson works very closely with family members to develop transfer or discharge plans, no matter how complex.”
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