Hospitals & health centers are sensitive locations:
"Pursuant to ICE policy, enforcement actions are not to occur at or be focused on sensitive locations such as schools, places of worship, unless;
exigent circumstances exist;
other law enforcement actions have led officers to a sensitive location, or
prior approval is obtained from a designated supervisory official.
The policy is intended to guide ICE officers and agents’ actions when enforcing federal law at or focused on sensitive locations, to enhance the public understanding and trust, and to ensure that people seeking to participate in activities or utilize services provided at any sensitive location are free to do so, without fear or hesitation"
To better serve our patients & their communities, we must develop policies on how to respond to ICE.
Non-compliance policies at each health institution must be explicit, transparent, and well-disseminated to both staff and the community.
While things like HIPPA and sensitive location status may broadly protect patients, explicit policies and protocols outlining what to do in the event of an ICE raid are critical to minimize confusion and improve patient safety. In addition to developing these policies, they need to be widely disseminated to both staff and patients & providers and staff need to be trained in how to use them.