TMA President Speaks Out Against New Rules For Migrants Seeking Green Cards

Barbara Schwarz
August 14, 2019 - 6:09 am
Immigration Welcome Letter, Green Card

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - Under the new rules, migrants who use public assistance, including Medicaid, will not be able to obtain a green card. 

Austin Surgeon and Texas Medical Association president Dr. David Fleeger says there are a million Texas children who have at least one parents who is not a US citizen.  Many are going through the process of getting a green card.   Texas already has more uninsured children than any other state.  Fleeger says now those parents affected may take their children off CHIP, the Children's Health Insurance Program.   Texas already has more uninsured children than any other state.  "That's not good for those patients, that's not good for the state.  Healthy children do better in school and become productive."

He also fears this could lead to migrants not getting their children vaccinated.   "If I take them to the public clinic to get vaccines, my name's going to be on there.  And then when I go for my Green card application, someone's going to see that.  They aren't looking, but people are still concerned about it."

He says even if there's an exemption for pregnant women, they may not get pre-natal care out of fear. leading to premature deliveries and later complications. 

He calls the policy "penny wise and pound foolish."  He says a person who refuses Medicaid funded care could eventually find themselves in the hospital.  "Waiting until the disease process becomes advances makes it more expensive to take care of and makes it less likely that we'll be successful in being able to take care of it.  So the patient suffers and ultimately the state and society suffers."