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Racist laws which effect Hispanic Health Care

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Racist laws which effect Hispanic Health Care
Annotated Bibliography

Keith James


The University of Dayton School of Law
Spring 1997


Introduction

This annotated bibliography is designed to point out sources dealing with laws which effect the quality of Hispanic health care. Hispanics are a significant minority group in this country, and have suffered from discrimination. The discrimination has been especially fierce in the form of legislation.

There is fear that Hispanic immigrants are draining all of our resources; so legislatures set out to restrict Hispanic immigrants' access to health care and other government services. Although the constitutionality of these laws has been questioned, the fact that this mentality exists to pass such is instructive. As a country of immigrants, we owe it to new immigrants to give them the chance to succeed.

The issue of illegal immigrants is a difficult one, however, the answer is not to exclude them from necessary services. Children who are brought into this country illegally are totally innocent and should not be denied necessary services.

As legislatures strive to cut costs, they should examine their actions in light of racism. Designing laws which make life more difficult for non-English speaking, non-whites, is clearly based in racism.

 


The following articles are included in this bibliography:

Anti-Discrimination Provisions and Health Care Access: New Slants on Old Approaches, 20 Clearing House Review 439 (1986).

Arkansas program help Hispanics get health care, The Commercial Appeal, March 19, 1996, at 10A.

Bibliography: Critical Race Theory: An Annotated Bibliography 1993, a Year of Transition, 66 U. Col. L. Rev. 159 (1993)

Born as a Second Class Citizens In The U.S.A.: Children Of Undocumented Parents, 63 Notre Dame L. Rev 35 (1988).

Boy In Prop. 187 Controversy Mourned; Rites: Family, Friends, Pay Last Respects to the 12-Year-Old Whose Parents Say the Delayed Medical Treatment Out of Fear of Deportation, L.A. Times, November 29, 1994,at A, 22

Constitutional and Practical Considerations of California Proposition 187, 78 Marq. L. Rev. 777. (1995).

Critical Race Theory and Proposition 187: The Racial Politics of Immigration Law, 17 Chicano-Latino L. Rev. 118 (1995).

Health Care Use By Hispanic Adults: Financial vs. Non-Financial Determinants. Access to Heath Services For Vulnerable Populations., 1995 Health Care Financing Review 71.

Hispanics, Health Care, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 3 Kan. J. L. & Pub. Pol'y 31 (1994.)

Hispanics Suffer Loss of Health Care, New York Times, February 3, 1997, at A16.

Immigrant's Rights to Health Care, 20 Clearing House Review 498 (1986).

Multilingual Warning Labels: Product Liability, "Official English, " and Consumer Safety, 29 GA. L. Rev. 197 (1994).

Newly ratified International Human Rights Treaties and the Fight Against Proposition 187, 17 Chicano-Latino L. Rev. 88 (1995).

Public Benefits and Immigration: The Intersection of Immigration Status, Ethnicity, Gender, and Class, 42 UCLA L. Rev. 1509 (1995).

Ramirez v. Plough, Inc., 6 Cal. 4th 539 (1993).

Symposium on Immigration Policy: An Essay on Immigration Politics, Popular Democracy, and California's Proposition 187: The Political Relevance and Legal Irrelevance of Race, 70 Wash. L. Rev. 629 (1995).

Woman Feared Proposition 187 Deportation Dies at S.F. General, The San Francisco Chronicle, November 26, 1994, at A14.



Annotations

Bill Piatt, Born as a Second Class Citizens In The U.S.A.: Children Of Undocumented Parents, 63 Notre Dame L. Rev 35 (1988).

This article discusses the methods used to deter illegal immigration and how these methods ultimately harm children of undocumented immigrants. Such methods are employer sanctions and denial of public assistance. The author argues that a statute should be passed which presumes that a deportation constitutes extreme hardship when the deportee would have to leave behind a citizen child. It would also constitute extreme hardship for the child. He also argues that courts should continue to strike down efforts to limit access to public assistance by children of illegal aliens. This is because of due process and equal protections issues.

This article is valuable because it discusses one of the major problems facing the Hispanic population-immigration. An understanding of the political environment and attitudes is essential in understanding laws designed to reduce benefits for undocumented aliens. This article is applicable to the specific topic of this bibliography because it shows the various techniques used to deny Hispanic's medical services. Pgs.:35-54. [Back]

 


Claudia Schur Et. Al., Health Care Use By Hispanic Adults: Financial vs. Non-Financial Determinants. Access to Heath Services For Vulnerable Populations., 1995 Health Care Financing Review 71.

This non-legal source is a scientific study exploring the role of cultural and financial concerns affecting the use of health care services by Hispanics. The study aimed to find out how cultural differences inhibit entry into the health care system. However, after compiling all the data, the study found that Spanish-speaking Hispanics were not really any less likely to go to the doctor.

The problem with the data in this article is that it was compiled in late 1995. This was before the Medicare and welfare reform initiatives had begun. Pgs: 1-16 [Back]

 


Geoffrey Dillard, Multilingual Warning Labels: Product Liability, "Official English, " and Consumer Safety, 29 GA. L. Rev. 197 (1994).

This article discusses one reason why Hispanic are more likely to be injured and require health care. The law does not adequately protect the linguistic needs of Hispanic Americans. Manufacturers do not always label in Spanish, even when they target Hispanic markets. In addition, there is a movement in the law towards passing English only laws. These laws make English the official language of the state. This can have the effect of prohibiting to use of any non-English language in the workplace.

This article is useful in the context of health care, because the English-only laws and warning label inadequacies result in many injuries for Hispanics. These laws show an unwillingness to accommodate a multi-cultural society. As a result, may injuries occur and health services are required. No only does the law restrict access, but it facilitates injury. [Back]

 


Ramirez v. Plough, Inc., 6 Cal. 4th 539 (1993).

This case dealt with a Hispanic child who got Reye Syndrome as a result of ingesting aspirin. The manufacturer targeted the Hispanic market via Spanish television and news papers, however, the manufacturer did not provide Spanish warning labels. As a result, the child contracted Reye syndrome and is severely damaged.

This case is important, because it shows that California is unwilling to protect the health care needs of Hispanics. Not only do Hispanics need improved access, but they need adequate protection from injury. In this case the court held that the statute only required a warning to be in English even though the manufacture targeted a Spanish speaking population. It is clear that the law not only has the effect of discouraging access, but it encourages injury to the Hispanic population. [Back]

 


Joseph F. Baca, Constitutional and Practical Considerations of California Proposition 187, 78 Marq. L. Rev. 777. (1995).

This is the transcript for the keynote address delivered to the first Hispanic Heritage Dinner at Marquette University Law School, February 17, 1995. The speech addressed Proposition 187, which is a piece of California legislation which restricts undocumented immigrants' use of services such as Medicaid and Medicare. The thrust of the speech was that if undocumented people do not get adequate medical care, this could result in contagious epidemics. In addition denial of services will keep these people permanently in the underclass. The speaker urged that the future Hispanic lawyers use their power to protect against such harmful policies. Pgs. 777-790. [Back]

 


Kevin R. Johnson, Public Benefits and Immigration: The Intersection of Immigration Status, Ethnicity, Gender, and Class, 42 UCLA L. Rev. 1509 (1995).

The value of this article is that it explains the motivations for legislation such as Proposition 187, which was intended to deny government benefits to illegal immigrants. The article points out that such legislation is a response to fear of the male Hispanic, but in practical application such legislation has the most harmful impact on Hispanic women. Hispanic women who are denied benefits are harmed the most because they are then forced to bear the responsibly of their health care, day care, and education. In addition, the article demonstrates that most illegal immigrants come here seeking work, not free benefits. It gives statistics of how illegal immigrants are not draining the system.

It is important to understand that Proposition 187 was passed out of fear and not hard facts. Racism will result in legislation that is unnecessary and unconstitutional. Pgs: 1509-1575 [Back]

 


Lee Romney, Boy In Prop. 187 Controversy Mourned; Rites: Family, Friends, Pay Last Respects to the 12-Year-Old Whose Parents Say the Delayed Medical Treatment Out of Fear of Deportation, L.A. Times, November 29, 1994,at A, 22.

The parents of a twelve-year-old, who were illegal immigrants, stated that they did not take their child to the hospital because they feared that they would be deported pursuant to Proposition 187. The child died shortly after the parents took him to a neighborhood clinic. They did not take him to the clinic until they had gathered enough money to pay in cash. The parents were not aware that there was a restraining order which bars enforcement of most of the proposition. This article demonstrates how brutal such racist legislation can be on innocent children. [Back]

 


Pamela Burdman, Woman Feared Proposition 187 Deportation Dies at S.F. General, The San Francisco Chronicle, November 26, 1994, at A14.

This article is similar to the preceding article. A woman delayed medical treatment as a result of Proposition 187. She was not aware that there was an injunction against the legislation. Her delay in seeking medical attention resulted in her dying from a brain hemorrhage. [Back]


Kevin R. Johnson, Symposium on Immigration Policy: An Essay on Immigration Politics, Popular Democracy, and California's Proposition 187: The Political Relevance and Legal Irrelevance of Race, 70 Wash. L. Rev. 629 (1995).

This article gives a history of racist legislation and ties it into Proposition 187. Although Proposition 187 has been blocked by the courts, it still demonstrates how racism has the potential to keep a whole race of people from succeeding. In the context of health care, this Proposition denies undocumented immigrants the ability to use government sponsored health benefits.

This work is valuable in that it explore the racist motive behind such legislation. Although the legislative intent stated that the purpose was to minimize the financial drain on the government, in reality the legislation was based on racism. Whether or not a court will apply the legislation is not important, because the racist attitudes will still exist and will surface again in the form of laws. Pgs: 629-673. [Back]

 


Anne Paxton Wagley,Newly ratified International Human Rights Treaties and the Fight Against Proposition 187, 17 Chicano-Latino L. Rev. 88 (1995).

This article discusses how international human rights law can provide lawyers tools to fight racist laws, such as those denying health care to Hispanic immigrants. Treaties are the supreme law of the land under the constitution and they should be used to protect minorities. However, these treaties have been ignored and not given adequate attention in the media.

Although this article presents an interesting argument, it will be difficult to apply these laws to protect the health care interests of Hispanics. Minority groups are by definition under represented, and will have difficulty advocating their rights under international law. In addition, the U.S. is notorious for ratifying international treaties and then ignoring their existence. The only real way to protect Hispanic health care rights is through U.S. law, not international law. Pgs:88-117 [Back]

 


Ruben J. Garcia, Critical Race Theory and Proposition 187: The Racial Politics of Immigration Law, 17 Chicano-Latino L. Rev. 118 (1995).

This article uses the critical race theory to explain racist laws, which, among other things, deny some Hispanics health care. The critical race theory is a theoretical framework that explores the ways that a facially race neutral laws are used to continue to perpetuate the problems of racism. The article explores the racial history of immigration law, and how it is based on white racism. It is argued that such laws should be subject to strict scrutiny.

This article is important because it shows how the law can be designed to seem neutral, but actually have a racial impact. In the context of health care of Hispanics, the laws denying illegal immigrants health care are in fact based in racism, and not just financial concerns. Pgs: 118-154 [Back]

 


Richard Delgado, BibliographyCritical Race Theory: An Annotated Bibliography 1993, a Year of Transition, 66 U. Col. L. Rev. 159 (1993).

This is an annotated bibliography of sources for the critical race theory. The critical race theory is useful to demonstrate how racism is used to enact laws which deny Hispanics health care access. Pgs:159-193. [Back]

 


Raphael Metzger, Hispanics, Health Care, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 3 Kan. J. L. & Pub. Pol'y 31 (1994.)

This article applies Title VI of the Civil Rights act to Hispanic health care. It argues that Hispanics are a large segment of the population who have poorer health than white America. This is due to lack of access. Lack of access, he argues, is due to barriers of language and culture. The author also argues that Title VI requires linguistic and cultural accommodations.

This article is valuable because it gives Hispanics a powerful tool to combat inadequate health care. It is clear that Title VI protects access to federal benefits from discrimination. Pgs: 31-37. [Back]

 


Susan Drake, Immigrant's Rights to Health Care, 20 Clearing House Review 498 (1986).

This article argues that lawyers need to advocate the needs of Hispanic immigrants if they are to have adequate access to health care. To increase the quality of medical care, the government should increase Medicaid coverage, enforce the Hill-Burton act, issue state mandated health insurance, require providers to offer interpreters, and provide cultural-sensitivity training. Also, hospitals should have screening measurers which would ensure that the patient would not be reported to the INS. Lack of adequate care keeps Hispanic immigrants from fully integrating into society. There is proof that immigrants are a positive factor in our economy. They pay taxes and are productive workers. They pay taxes and social security and often do not benefit from those services.

This article makes excellent arguments that immigrants are a valuable asset to this country. The law needs to be changed so that immigrants are afforded adequate health care; so that they can continue to positively serve our country. Pgs. 498-510.[Back]

 


Stan Dorn, Anti-Discrimination Provisions and Health Care Access: New Slants on Old Approaches, 20 Clearing House Review 439 (1986).

This article challenges the linguistic inadequacies of health care providers, and how this violates Title VI. [Back]

 


Brian I. Byrd,Hispanics Suffer Loss of Health Care, New York Times, February 3, 1997, at A16.

This non-legal source discusses that Hispanics are the most likely to not have health insurance. Hispanics have the highest rate of asthma and a high rate of AIDS. In the midst of all of this, there is an anti-affirmative action climate, which is reducing the number of Hispanic doctors. Medical schools have seen a 19 percent drop in minority enrollment. [Back]

 


Arkansas program help Hispanics get health care, The Commercial Appeal, March 19, 1996, at 10A.

This non-legal source describes a plan adopted by the state health department to improve health care for Hispanics. The Health Department is sponsoring a workshop focusing on language and cultural aspects of health care. In addition, the workshop also teaches about Hispanic cultural considerations which play a role in health care. This was a response to an increasing number of Hispanics moving to the area as a result of anti-immigration laws passed in California. [Back


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Email: randall@udayton.edu

 

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