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Philadelphia is the first city to make medical deportation illegal.
On Friday, Dec. 22, Philadelphia’s outgoing Mayor Jim Kenney signed what is known as the “end medical deportation” bill.
“We got word the bill was signed,” said Jasmine Rivera, who is the interim executive director at the Pennsylvania Immigrant and Citizenship Coalition in a text message.
“We hope the next chapter of this journey includes other jurisdictions taking up policies like this one, to protect people from discrimination when seeking healthcare,” said Adrianna Torres-Garcia, deputy director of Free Migration Project and one of the leaders behind the end medical eeportation campaign, in a written statement to WHYY News.
Hospitals are now required to ensure that any immigrant patient in their care is given access to translators and given a chance to decide where they want to receive care, whether that be in the Philadelphia region or in their home country. The new law also imposes fines on any hospital that does not follow its criteria.