Amid coronavirus spread, health advocates worry Trump’s immigration policies put public at risk

“We don’t care about your immigration status. We care about everyone having access to health care,” said a New York City official worried that people won’t seek medical help.

Health advocates around the country worry that President Donald Trump’s restrictive immigration policies could deter people from seeking health services as communities work to contain the spread of the new coronavirus that has killed at least 17 people in the United States.

Many people who lack legal immigration status tend to largely avoid hospitals “out of fear that their information might be released to ICE even though emergency rooms here are known for being welcoming,” Ismael Castro, a project manager at Building Healthy Communities in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, said referring to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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