Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

Letter

Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

Letter

Article excerpt

Illegal Immigrants need access to our services

Dear Editor,

As a society, we have a "family secret": We accept in-house ongoing violations of human rights. We deny and limit illegal immigrants' access to social, educational, medical, and mental health services.

Many community agencies addressing the needs of low-income and culturally diverse populations serve illegal immigrants. However, we do not dare document the magnitude of the problem or even talk about it. Our silence seems self-protective, because using public funds to serve illegal immigrants is, in many cases, a violation of our government contracts. We believe our reasons are altruistic, since defending and voicing the human rights of illegal immigrants jeopardize the access to services that other low-income groups have. As helping professionals in community agencies serving vulnerable groups, we too often assume we are powerless to change the situation, fearing the financial consequences. …

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