Hospitals & health centers are sensitive locations. To better serve our patients & their communities, we must develop policies on how to respond to ICE.
The goal of this page is to give healthcare providers and organizations tools to:
Create policies in case there is an ICE visit to their sensitive location (ICE has some discretion to enter a sensitive location under specific circumstances)
To approach your institution and create a task force to plan for a potential response, taking an approach similar to preparation for other emergency preparedness.
ICE is not supposed to conduct enforcement activities at hospitals or health centers. This is based on federal guidance to ensure that people are free to utilize healthcare without fear or hesitation. However, ICE has some discretion in deciding to come into a sensitive location.
Thus, 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.
Non-compliance policies at each health institution must be explicit, transparent, and well-disseminated to both staff and the community.