Clinic and Hospital Best Practices
Fear of immigration enforcement creates chronic anxiety for immigrant families and their children, and prompts them to avoid using vital services such as healthcare.
This impacts immigrant patients as well as the health centers and hospitals which serve them.
We have been working with the leadership at health institutions to try and encourage them to make immigrant patients feel more welcome. Here are a few things you can encourage your health center or hospital to do.
Send the message that all are welcome.
Signs should be posted everywhere, in waiting rooms, hallways, exam rooms and bathrooms. Some sample signs below.
Make Know Your Rights Information and immigration resources available
Post in waiting rooms, with wall posters, informational materials or even playing videos in the waiting room.
Have stacks of Red Cards which immigrants can give to immigration enforcement to exert their rights.
You can find local resource lists in the Immigrant Health Toolkit.
Educate healthcare staff about changes in immigration policy and how it affects patients.
Email us <email@example.com> and we can help to arrange a training.
Also see our education section for sample powerpoint modules.
Have an official policy not to share patients’ information with ICE.
Healthcare professionals and health centers do not have to share patients information with immigration or law enforcement without a warrant, but sometimes we share information voluntarily.
All healthcare facilities should have an official policy about what to do if ICE is seeking information about a patient.
All staff should be trained in the policy, and there should be a clear chain of command of people who should be informed if ICE is requesting patient information.
Links to sample policies here:
Know Your Healthcare Rights
More details about the rights of patients and healthcare providers, with sample flyers and policies are available in the National Immigrant Law Center Healthcare Toolkit. You have to request a login for this excellent resource.