Immigration Control as Public Health Protection
Humans have long blamed immigrants and outsiders for epidemics. This perceived association between newcomers and disease has led many nations to impose health-related immigration controls that screen newcomers for disease and disability and deny entry to many newcomers on health and disability-related grounds. In the United States, quarantine and other such policies began in the nineteenth century, and were long influenced by both racism and eugenics; more recently, many nations around the globe have imposed travel bans, barring entry by people who are HIV positive. Nations also perpetuate disability discrimination, excluding immigrants with a range of disabilities on the theory that they will be unproductive and costly to taxpayers. These health- and disability-related immigration exclusions fail to protect public health and reinforce stigma and discrimination against immigrants and natives with disabilities.
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