Sunday, January 15, 2012

Stop cutoff of immigrants from MN Emergency Medical Assistance!

We call on Governor Dayton to take action to assure nobody dies from this inhumane law!

On January 1, 2012 undocumented immigrants in Minnesota will no longer qualify for many medical treatments under Minnesota’s Emergency Medical Assistance program. This means that immigrants in Minnesota who receive chemotherapy, dialysis, diabetes management, and alcohol and drug treatment, among other things, will be in danger of not receiving their treatments. For people receiving essential treatments like chemotherapy for cancer or dialysis for kidney disease, this can mean life or death.

A letter from the Minnesota Department of Human Services to the people currently receiving Emergency Medical Assistance from the state explains that undocumented immigrants will no longer be able to receive coverage for these treatments. According to the letter, the only services that will soon be allowed for immigrants are for medical emergencies treated in an emergency room or hospital (this includes labor and delivery), and some very limited follow-up under very tight restrictions. Undocumented immigrants would not receive treatment for other medical care that the Human Services Department deems to be “non-emergency”.

This new anti-immigrant policy was passed at the end of the legislative session on July 20, 2011 in the middle of the night. It was passed by the Republican legislature and signed by Democratic Governor Dayton. The law that was changed so that it now discriminates based on immigration status is House File 25, Article 6, Section 27. (available here:

Many people didn’t notice this anti-immigrant change in the law until too late because legislators added in a lot of things at the last minute. The majority of the legislators didn’t even have the chance to read the final bills before having to vote on them.

MIRAc denounces this new anti-immigrant law that could cause many people to needlessly die in Minnesota. Anti-immigrant policies such as this one are inhumane, attacking people who depend the most on medical services and care — the elderly, and people who suffer from life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and kidney disease. We denounce the fact that Minnesota’s politicians chose to balance the state budget on the backs of immigrants who have serious illnesses.

We call on Governor Dayton to take immediate action to assure that nobody in Minnesota dies from this inhumane law. In Minnesota, and everywhere else, nobody should die of a disease when treatment is available, just because of their immigration status. Everybody has basic human rights including the right to receive medical care – nobody is “illegal”!

Take Action!

Call Governor Dayton at 651-201-3400 or send him a message here ( to demand that he:

> Do something immediately by taking executive action to assure that nobody dies from this new anti-immigrant law. In Minnesota nobody should die of an illness when there’s treatment available just because of their immigration status!

> Repeal the anti-immigrant changes that they made to the law in House File 25, Article 6, Section 27 during the last legislative session. Basic health care is a right for all!

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