Study Debunks the Myth of the Diseased Immigrant

Study Debunks the Myth of the Diseased Immigrant December 7, 2018

A new study published in the British medical journal Lancet concludes that not only do immigrants not pose a disease risk to native populations, they bolster health care systems by growing the economy and the tax base. Immigrants actually have a lower mortality rate than citizens of the countries they migrate to.

The world’s immigrant population doesn’t pose any notable risk to public health and, in fact, contributes to many of the health services in countries they migrate to, despite dire claims by right-leaning politicians and a rise in xenophobia, according to a study released Wednesday.

The report, the result of a two-year commission by University College London and the Lancet, a medical journal, targets an uptick in anti-immigration policies around the world in recent years, notably under the administration of President Donald Trump and surrounding Britain’s decision to leave the European Union…

The study also found that migrants in rich countries have lower rates of mortality than the nations’ general populations and were less susceptible to a slew of health issues, including cardiovascular disease, mental and behavioral issues and blood disorders. Fertility rates among migrant populations are also lower.

Migrants do have increased rates of HIV, tuberculosis and viral hepatitis, but the report found the transmission of such ills to the general population was “negligible.”

“Contrary to the current political narrative portraying migrants as disease carriers who are a blight on society, migrants are an essential part of economic stability in the U.S.,” Terry McGovern, a professor at Columbia University and a co-author of the study, said in a statement. “The separation of migrant children from their parents creates long-term psychological damage — and is a cruel and unnecessary aspect of U.S. policy. …Migrants are vital to our wellbeing as a society.”

This won’t stop the bigots from using that argument, of course. It’s been used against every group of new immigrants since the country began. It’s practically a mantra on the far right and it will continue to be one because facts cannot defeat bigotry for those who aren’t thinking rationally.

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