Know Your Rights on Immigration: How Residents Can Support Patients

On Wednesday May 17, 2017, a Know Your Rights workshop was held at CIR’s NYC office with experts from the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, NY Immigration Coalition, NY Legal Assistance Group, CIR Legal Services, and Cambridge Health Alliance.  Residents received information on immigrant patient rights, resources to share with their patients, and information regarding visas and residency.  The room was filled with doctors eager to learn more about how they can help their patients and themselves.

Key takeaways from the Know Your Rights Workshop:

  1. There is increased fear among undocumented immigrants in the country due to a concerted effort by the government to detain individuals who are in this country without proper documentation. This fear has led to a decrease in undocumented individuals signing up for and utilizing insurance benefits they are legally entitled to.
  2. It is important for physicians to understand this fear and to provide information that makes immigrant patients feel safe and welcome. The social capital of physicians puts doctors in a position of power and trust that can help ease the fears that immigrant patients are dealing with.
  3. NYC has several policies  that protect undocumented immigrants and resources available for them to utilize.  
  4. Recent immigration policies have impacted CIR members.  CIR Legal Services (CIRLS) has resources for members that have questions.

Have your patients stopped coming in for care?  Would you like to be more involved?  Here are some next steps to get you going:

  • Attend a Know Your Rights training and share the takeaways with your fellow co-residents
  • Organize a campaign in your hospital to show that immigrants are welcome, much like Kings County residents did when they organized a button campaign showing support for immigrants and their right to healthcare.



CALL CONGRESS: 855-614-6085. Say NO to a deportation force. A deportation force would tear families apart and cost the United States billions of dollars. Email and post this information to your members and activists encouraging them to tell Congress this is not what our families and communities need.