Patients Avoid Clinics Fearing Immigration Raids
Patients have been canceling appointments at East Contra Costa County medical clinics amid rumors that federal authorities are looking for undocumented immigrants, the Contra Costa Times reports.
According to Jane Garcia, CEO of La Clinica in Pittsburg, about one-third of patients canceled their appointments this week and "said they are concerned about" raids by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Concepcion James, director of the Bay Point Family Health Center, said about half as many people attended a children's eye screening on Thursday, compared to last year.
Jeff Smith, Contra Costa County health director of hospitals and clinics, said the county is "trying to reassure [patients] we're not there to make judgments about their legal status."
A letter from the county health director's office has been posted at clinics throughout the area saying, "The political or immigration changes currently being discussed do not affect our mission" (McNamara, Contra Costa Times, 4/28).
The letter is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the document.