Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Anti-immigrant fervor leads to snooping

Today's Globe carries an editorial, Health and Privacy in Danger, that highlights both the dilemmas faced by some immigrants, as well as the need for privacy.

Marxavi Angel Martinez came to the United States legally at age 3 with her parents, who overstayed their visa.  Twenty years later, Martinez reportedly used an illegal Social Security number to apply for a new job -- presumably because there was no way for her to get one of her own, but also no way to undo the fact that she was raised in the United States.

What she reportedly did was wrong, but she faced a difficult dilemma not of her own making.  Would you move to a country you barely knew if you found out that, technically, you weren't a legal U.S. resident?

Moreover, Martinez' status appears to have come to light because of a visit to a clinic for prenatal care for her now newborn son, who is an American citizen.  It isn't good for anyone when anti-immigrant fervor is used as an excuse for snooping and snitching -- which could violate the privacy of any one of us -- or making people afraid to get needed medical care.

No comments: