Advocates Release Groundbreaking Model Policies to Support Immigrants at Health Facilities

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

The Illinois Alliance for Welcoming Healthcare, convened by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) has released a model policies platform, which provides guidelines and best practices for health providers to prevent unlawful ICE enforcement activities at facilities, and gives other recommendations to create a welcoming environment for everyone in every healthcare institution in Illinois. Among the first of its kind in the country, the model policies platform provides a broad scope of immigrant-related guidelines and recommendations that can be tailored and implemented across any and all health facilities in Illinois and beyond. 

The model policies come at a time when immigrant communities face a volatile political climate that generates fear and deters families from seeking out healthcare assistance. Recent federal policy changes have increased threats of deportation and family separation, which are compounded by misinformation and bias. These experiences can have cascading public health effects. Recent studies have found that:

• Children who have had a parent detained or deported experience an increased occurrence of social isolation, depression, and anxiety

• Worry about deportation is “significantly associated with cardiovascular risk factors, including body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and continuous measures of systolic and pulse pressure.”

• Worry about being deported or having a relative or friend deported have a higher likelihood of reporting the need to seek mental or emotional help.

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