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Health of NewcomersImmigration, Health Policy, and the Case for Global Solidarity$
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Patricia Illingworth and Wendy E. Parmet

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780814789216

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814789216.001.0001

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Health and Migration

Health and Migration

A Combustible Mix

(p.11) 1 Health and Migration
Health of Newcomers

Patricia Illingworth

Wendy E. Parmet

NYU Press

Health and migration are each highly contentious issues. Four widely held myths have been especially influential in shaping policy at the intersection between immigration and health: newcomers pose a unique and significant threat to public health; they are sicker than natives due to their own irresponsible ways; newcomers often immigrate to take advantage of Western health care systems; and newcomers place a significant strain on taxpayers. This chapter shows that each of these myths is false. The chapter also reviews the diversity of refugees and other migrants around the globe, as well as the health status of the migrants, noting that, as a group, migrants tend to be healthier than natives, a phenomenon known as the healthy immigrant effect. The chapter ends with a discussion of the distinction between law and ethics.

Keywords:   ethics, health care system, healthy immigrant effect, immigration, law, migrants, public health, refugees

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