Sign the petition: Immigrants must feel safe to receive medical attention during the coronavirus outbreak
To slow the deadly coronavirus, we need to be able to get tested and see doctors. For immigrants, though, that can involve trusting the federal agencies that have made it harder for them to stay in the country.
Trump’s restrictive immigration policies could deter people from seeking health services as communities work to contain the spread. Many people who lack legal immigration status tend to largely avoid hospitals out of fear that their information might be released to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants are estimated to live in the U.S. It is imperative they feel safe to access medical service.
In the face of a global pandemic, many immigrants currently face major roadblocks to receive the health care they could need. The cost of testing — and the potential of missing work to self-quarantine without paid sick leave — make it nearly impossible for them to report their illness. Then there is the fear of revealing their citizenship status, which can prevent them from visiting any hospitals.
Additionally, at a time when social distancing and improved hygiene are the new norms, ICE detention centers, much like prisons, have hundreds of adults held in close quarters, often in facilities known for having notoriously bad medical services.
Even amid state-wide lockdowns, ICE is continuing to make arrests. It is outrageous and extremely dangerous!
Since then, ICE has announced they will stop most immigration enforcement inside the U.S. and will focus on criminals during coronavirus outbreak. This absurd dichotomy between immigrants whose lives are worthy of protection vs. those whom ICE is willfully exposing to COVID-19 is in no way any answer to this pandemic!
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, ICE must cease ALL immigration enforcement activities, particularly near medical facilities, and implement community-based detention alternatives to alleviate mass overcrowding in detention facilities. To avoid preventable deaths and mitigate the harm from a COVID-19 outbreak, individuals and families, particularly those most vulnerable--the elderly, pregnant people, people with serious mental illness, and those at higher risk of complications— should be released while their legal cases are being processed.
Everyone deserves access to medical care, especially during an outbreak!
Sign the petition: Assure immigrants access to medical attention without fear of arrest and protect those most vulnerable to serious illness!