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Health-care workers have a new job requirement: preparing for ICE interference

Hospital workers in California are responding to increased anxiety among undocumented immigrants, as rumors of raids and deportations make immigrants worry that accessing health care will put them at risk.

St. John's Well Child & Family Center, a Los Angeles clinic, is one of several hospitals across the state that is preparing to physically block immigration agents if necessary. The first line of defense is training staffers how to read a warrant from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but employees have also run drills to practice linking arms to form a protective wall around the facility, the Los Angeles Times reports, should ICE come around. St. John's treats more undocumented patients than any other clinic in California.

Fear of deportation has altered daily work duties for many health-care professionals. Immigrants now often request extra copies of their medical record, or extra medication to keep a "stockpile" in case they are picked up by ICE, the Los Angeles Times reports. Moreover, patients are canceling appointments — or not making them at all — for fear that authorities will meet them on their way into the clinic or that their personal information will be shared with ICE.

Staffers for public programs like food stamps or Medi-Cal say they have spent more time disenrolling people who don't want to call attention to themselves, and their daily focus has shifted to encouraging people to stay on the program, rather than seeking new enrollments. Read more at the Los Angeles Times.