Calls for Stricter Legislation and Fear in the European Immigrant Community: Reflections of the Public Charge Debate Ongoing in the United States; Comment on “A Crisis of Humanitarianism: Refugees at the Gates of Europe”

Document Type : Commentary


Cooperative Studies Program Epidemiology Center, Health Services Research and Development, DVAHCS (Duke Affiliate), Durham, NC, USA


In the editorial, “A Crisis of Humanitarianism: Refugees at the Gates of Europe,” Marianna Fotaki elegantly highlights the changing dynamics of governmental policy toward refugees, forced migrants into Europe and the move away from the principles of humanitarianism.1 The perceived threats to economy, security, and concerns of globalization and multiculturalism often are manifested as a “cry of wolf ” about alleged health risks. This in effect has raised concerns of inadmissibility on health-related grounds and calls for stricter legislation for determining who is eligible for legal permanent residence, precipitated in part by the “public charge” debate occurring in the United States.2 As Marianna notes “anti-migration rhetoric is now a permanent fixture of European politics.”


Main Subjects

  1. Fotaki M. A crisis of humanitarianism: Refugees at the gates of Europe. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2019;8(6):321-324. doi:10.15171/IJHPM.2019.22
  2. Hong M, Varghese R, Jindal C, Efird J. 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(10):E1107. doi:10.3390/ijerph14101107
  3. U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services. Public Charge.  Accessed July 28, 2019.
  4. National Immigration Law Center. Public Charge (revised October 2013).  Accessed July 28, 2019.
  5. Geddes A. The history of smallpox. Clin Dermatol 2006;24(3):152-157. doi:10.1016/j.clindermatol.2005.11.009
Volume 9, Issue 3
March 2020
Pages 119-120
  • Receive Date: 29 July 2019
  • Revise Date: 18 October 2019
  • Accept Date: 18 October 2019
  • First Publish Date: 01 March 2020