Caring for Immigrant Patients
Health centers serve underserved communities and vulnerable populations by decreasing barriers to accessing health care services. Patients may include immigrant populations. The following resources may be helpful for health centers and health care providers who care for diverse patient populations.
When an individual applies for Lawful Permanent Residency status (aka a “Green Card”), the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) evaluates whether he or she has used – or is likely to use – certain public benefits that could make them a “public charge. On September 22, the Trump Administration published online a draft of a proposed regulation that would significantly expand the list of programs that USCIS must consider when determining if an immigrant is a public charge.
- educate health centers, PCAs, and HCCNs about proposed and actual policy changes impacting immigrant patients;
- develop and share resources to support participants in understanding and responding to actual and potential policy changes; and
- work to align and coordinate messaging around policies impacting immigrant patients.
All staff and Board members from health centers, PCAs, HCCNs, and NCAs are welcome to join the Workgroup.
The Protecting Immigrant Families Coalition has published an issue brief on this topic.
CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates, the advocacy affiliate of the California Primary Care Association (CPCA), recently updated its six (6) sample policies and procedures that will help clinics prepare themselves and patients for on-site inquiries regarding service delivery to immigrant patient populations. CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates worked very closely with legal counsel, Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP (FTLF) and immigration partners, like the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), to provide clear, detailed and direct policies and procedures that can be implemented immediately to help immigrant patients while they seek services at a health center.
Also, CPCA, in partnership with the Northwestern PCA, is hosting an immigration webinar series where the sample policies and procedures will be reviewed in detail. If you would like to register for any upcoming webinars regarding immigration or would like to see the recording of any past webinars, please go to CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates immigration resource page.
Issues covered in these FAQs include protections for Personal Health Information, public and private spaces within health centers, and potential implications of being a “sanctuary location.”
A detailed presentation addressing basic information about refugee resettlement, immunization programs, CDC’s role in screening patient populations and health center resources for health providers caring for immigrant populations. Prepared by the Immigrant, Refugee and Migrant Health Branch of CDC.
A detailed presentation providing updates and recent policy developments about providing services to immigrant populations.
The toolkit includes tools for understanding rights as providers, resources to help providers understand patients’ rights, tips and suggestions for creating safe spaces for patients and staff, and sample materials that can be adapted for facilities. These materials are updated on an ongoing basis. The toolkit is accessible at https://healthtoolkit.nilc.org/ and requires a one-time, free registration.
A detailed presentation addressing basic information about immigration and health access; recent policy developments; providers’ and patients’ rights; and creating safe spaces. See page 43 for a sample notice about being a “safe space.”
This fact sheet outlines legal rights of health care providers and patients, and limits on enforcement powers of immigration officials.
This fact sheet provides information that all families should have when they apply for and enroll in health insurance programs or seek health care services.
This document, recommended by NILC, discusses how to respond if immigration agents come to your building