Judicial Watch • Illegal Immigrants Get Free Organ Transplants

Illegal Immigrants Get Free Organ Transplants

Illegal Immigrants Get Free Organ Transplants

APRIL 15, 2008

The state with the nation’s largest illegal immigrant population offers free acute medical care—including expensive organ transplants and the costly follow-up treatment required after the complicated surgery—to those who notify federal authorities that they are in the country illegally.

Outrageous as it may seem, California has a little-known program that allows sick illegal immigrants over the age of 21 to get the federal and state-funded health coverage known as Medi-Cal if they notify U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that the are in the country illegally.

If illegal immigrants with serious health problems inform the state in writing that U.S. Immigration Services is “aware of their presence and does not plan to deport them” they could get full-scope Medi-Cal coverage, according to an official with the state’s health department. The taxpayer-funded program, supposedly reserved for legal residents, insures 6.5 million low-income people in California and officials won’t say how many are in the country illegally.

Case in point: An illegal alien woman with a liver disorder who has already had three publicly funded liver transplants. Her aunt brought her to the U.S. illegally as a child knowing that the state would perform the surgeries for free and now she must undergo a fourth and is on a waiting list to get it done at a state-funded hospital.

The average cost of a liver transplant and first-year follow-up treatment is nearly $500,000 and the costly anti-rejection medications can exceed $30,000 a year. Donor livers are also tough to find yet this illegal immigrant has had three and will probably get a fourth, thanks to Uncle Sam and the incompetent federal immigration authorities that allow this outrage to occur.

It’s bad enough that illegal immigrants cost California taxpayers nearly $11 billion dollars a year for education, medical care and incarceration. Health care costs alone run about $1.4 billion annually, according to an in-depth report published by a public interest group that closely studies illegal immigration. For the federal government to look the other way as illegal aliens openly abuse public programs reserved for legal U.S. residents, is downright criminal.

U.S. authorities should follow Mexico’s lead in dealing with illegal immigrants. In the nation that sends the most illegal immigrants to this country it’s a felony to be one, which is why Mexico annually deports far more aliens than the U.S. The Mexican government would surely not give an illegal immigrant costly free medical care.

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