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Blanca Borrega was arrested at her doctor’s office. What does that mean for other immigrants?

Blanca BorregaLast month, Blanca Borrega was arrested at her gynecologist’s office in a suburb of Houston. She had provided the office with identification that the front desk found suspicious, and they called authorities. Borrega lacks authorization to live in the US. On Saturday, MCN’s Ed Zuroweste, MD, Chief Medical Officer, and Andrea Caracostis, MD, Executive Director of HOPE Clinic in Houston, responded to the arrest in an op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman. Here’s an excerpt:

“Whatever the exact circumstances — the clinic was quick to declare they don’t report patients to authorities — the message to other migrants without documentation — in Texas and across the country — is troubling: if you don’t have the right paperwork, the doctor’s office might be a dangerous place to go.

“Earlier this week, Karen Mountain, the CEO of Migrant Clinicians Network, based here in Austin, said, ‘As a clinician, I’m not in the law enforcement business. I’m in the business of trying to help people and saving lives, and I can’t do that as effectively if people are too afraid to seek help.’”

The op-ed dives into the implications of the arrest for other immigrants like Borrega, and the potential issues for our communities when immigrants aren’t able to seek care when they need it. Read the full op-ed at the Austin American-Statesman, and if you agree with its sentiments, please share the article with your colleagues and friends through social media and email.

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