Doctors and Community Champions Express Solidarity for 10-Year-Old Surgery Patient, Rosa Maria Hernandez, and Declare Ambulances, Clinics, and Hospitals Safe Spaces for All Undocumented Immigrants

As members of the community prepared to mark the Thanksgiving Season, Resident Physicians from LAC+USC Medical Center, representing the Service Employee International Union – Committee of Interns and Residents, (SEIU CIR) joined the executives and general membership of community-based, nonprofit organizations, such as Inner City Struggle, and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights – Los Angeles, (CHIRLA) to declare all medical vehicles, as well as public health, mental health, and health services spaces as ones safe for undocumented patients/clients, friends, and family members.

In San Antonio, Texas, Rosa Maria Hernandez, a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy, was taken by the Border Patrol and placed into a Homeland Security detention facility for deportation processing immediately following a critical surgery. In Los Angeles, California, 13-year-old, Jocelyn Avelica watched helplessly as her father was detained, by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, seconds after he took her to school in Highland Park.

Every day, children and families wonder whether they are putting their loved ones at risk simply by meeting medical needs, going to school, entering a courtroom, or even standing in line at the post office. Whether federal, state, county, city, or other, each and every public space, such as the LAC+USC Medical Center, must remain safe for all those who enter them, regardless of their immigration statuses. This means enacting recently passed state laws, such as SB 54 and AB 450, and Congressional passage of a clean DREAM Act for DACA eligible youth, and justice for Temporary Protective Status (TPS) visa holders.