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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1107;

Refugee Policy Implications of U.S. Immigration Medical Screenings: A New Era of Inadmissibility on Health-Related Grounds

Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB), School of Medicine and Public Health, The University of Newcastle (UoN), Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
School of Medicine and Health Sciences, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20037, USA
Center for Health Disparities (CHD), Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University (ECU), Greenville, NC 27834, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 July 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 24 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Refugee Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [290 KB, uploaded 24 September 2017]


Refugees frequently face extended delays in their efforts to enter the United States (U.S.) and those who are successful, in many cases, encounter overwhelming obstacles, inadequate resources, and a complex system of legal barriers. Travel restrictions based on equivocal health concerns and a drop in refugee admittance ceilings have complicated the situation. The authors retrieved and analyzed peer-reviewed journal articles, government agency press releases, media postings, epidemiologic factsheets, and relevant lay publications to critically assess U.S. policy regarding refugee resettlement based on health-related grounds. While refugees arguably exhibit an increased incidence of measles and tuberculosis compared with the U.S. population, the legitimacy of the medical examination will be undermined if other diseases that are endemic to refugee populations, yet currently deemed admissible, are used to restrict refugees from entering the U.S. This paper addressees the historic refugee policy of the U.S. and its consequent effect on the health of this vulnerable population. The needs of refugees should be carefully considered in the context of increased disease burden and the associated health care challenges of the country as a whole. View Full-Text
Keywords: HIV; immigration; measles; populism; refugee health; rule-making; tuberculosis HIV; immigration; measles; populism; refugee health; rule-making; tuberculosis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Hong, M.-K.; Varghese, R.E.; Jindal, C.; Efird, J.T. Refugee Policy Implications of U.S. Immigration Medical Screenings: A New Era of Inadmissibility on Health-Related Grounds. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1107.

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