February 15, 2017

Chicago Board Of Health Calls on All Providers to Adopt Policies to Protect and Support Immigrants

Passes Resolution Linking Immigrant Rights and Public Health

Mayor’s Press Office     312.744.3334, press@cityofchicago.org

Anel Ruiz, Department of Public Health    312.747.9698, Anel.ruiz@cityofchicago.org

For Immediate Release

CHICAGO- The Chicago Board of Health today passed a resolution in support of immigrant rights, calling on all medical and healthcare providers in Chicago to adopt policies and procedures to actively protect immigrants. The resolution also reiterates Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s recent statements that Chicago is and will remain a sanctuary city.

“Discrimination is a public health issue,” said President of the Board Health Carolyn Lopez, M.D. “We know that the way to improve the health of an entire city is to ensure that all people, regardless of their birthplace or immigration status, receive the dignity and respect they deserve. The Board of Health stands with our immigrant communities.”“

The resolution calls on providers to not collect data that can be used to identify or deport immigrants who are undocumented and recommends that local law enforcement not hold or detain or inform on undocumented persons for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a position that is in line with statements already made clear by Mayor Emanuel.

“Every resident has the right to see their doctor and get the health care they need without fear or discrimination, this includes immigrants and undocumented individuals,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Morita, M.D. “Ensuring that all of our residents live without fear, including living without fear of deportation is critical in order to attain positive health outcomes for all Chicagoans.”

The resolution also recognizes the negative health outcomes potentially facing individuals who are under threat of detention or deportation. These include increased behavioral health problems, increased chance of poverty and even increase risk of low birth weight among infants born to new mothers.

Today’s resolution is in line with the goals of the citywide Healthy Chicago 2.0 plan, which Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) unveiled in March. Healthy Chicago 2.0 is the city’s four-year plan designed to improve health and well-being across the city for all its residents. Further, this resolution builds on Mayor Emanuel’s initiatives to improve the immigrant community’s access to services and celebrate Chicago’s diverse immigrant communities.

 

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Read Board of Health Resolution here.

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