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Los Angeles clinic prepares for ICE

Doctors have a Hippocratic Oath to provide medical care to those in need. Hospitals and healthcare facilities here in the U.S. carry that tradition on through a variety of actions, including providing emergency care regardless of immigration status.

Now with rumors of ICE raiding hospitals and the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy, there is concern that some are not seeking medical treatment because they fear that they will get picked up and deported. Some also have voiced concerns about having their personal information attached to medical records that can be accessed by government agents.

Clinic takes action

Concerned that the ill pose a risk to the greater population and they simply want to provide medical care to those in need, the staff of St. John’s Well Child & Family Center in South Los Angeles are now taking additional steps for the care of patients. These precautions address patients whose ongoing medical care could end at any time, including:

  • Provide complete medical records to patients to bring with them in case they are deported or detained
  • Provide additional medication in case they are detained or deported

A human chain of defense

Immigration agents cannot legally enter healthcare facilities, but nonetheless, the staff at St. John’s have been trained on how to ICE out. The staff now knows how to read an Immigration and Customs Enforcement warrant. The staff also practiced linking arms outside the doors of the clinic door to prevent custom agents from entering the building.

Medical care should still be sought out

Medical care professionals at St. John’s are not the only ones fighting to provide health care to unregistered immigrants. Those who need medical care should still seek it out. However, immigration and deportation laws are continually changing so it may still be good idea to with an attorney who has experience with immigration laws if there are concerns about seeking medical treatment.

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber