Visionaries from over 30 community organizations from the Building Healthy Communities coalition came together on March 14th to prepare for a Sacramento County workshop that was held later that week. Local undocumented families and members of the general public attended this event to make their voices heard.
Many of these people have been through devastating experiences due to denial of health care coverage. Their passion for equality and human rights is what is fueling their drive. Their hearts are set for the safety of all people, especially those who are being denied hospitalization in emergency situations.
The audiences for this workshop included:
- Health Care professionals, including clinicians and organizational leaders.
- Local elected city officials
- People who care about health access for everyone
The term qualified non citizens includes:
- Granted withhold of deportation
- Cuban/ Haitian entrants
- Lawful permanent residents (LPR/Green Card Holder)
- Paroled into the U.S. for at least one year
- Member of a federally recognized Indian tribe or American Indian born in Canada
- Conditional entrant granted before 1980
- Victims of trafficking and his or her spouse, child, sibling, or parent or individuals with a pending application for a victim of trafficking visa
- Battered non-citizens, spouses, children, or parents
“There are a lot of people who get sick, who get injured and they currently don’t have anywhere to go to take care of the emergency,” says David Ramirez with Sacramento Area Congregations Together. “If they have a diabetic or asthma crisis they go to the hospital for now but they can’t get prescriptions for long-term (care). They can’t get follow-up checkups without paying cash out of their pockets at the full rate add period. Medical Cost are very, very high, and poor people can not pay them so they stay sick and they die.”
“Everyone needs access to healthcare and the undocumented are people just like everyone else,” says Ramirez. “They are working, paying taxes, and have needs like everybody else.”
“These people are working hard and providing services we need, if you have one segment of the population that are sick and dying that weakens your country,” Ramirez says. “It’s a crime against the United States to not take care of our people, and these are our people.”