CANTON, Mass., July 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Massachusetts Nurses Association Board of Directors ? 29 front-line nurses and health care professionals elected by their colleagues ? has issued the following statement about the current Administration's immigration policies and their effect on the health and well-being of migrants.
"The Massachusetts Nurses Association Board of Directors condemns the immigration policies and resulting actions of the current Administration that have led to the deaths of migrants seeking asylum and the extremely inhumane and unsafe conditions in detention centers across the country. The administration has recently threatened to arrest tens of thousands of immigrants, striking fear into our communities. When people are afraid that they will be detained and separated from their families, there is no way to effectively provide for their health needs. Healthcare is a basic human right. Preventing access to healthcare ? whether through fear or outright deprivation in detention camps ? is the ultimate betrayal of our humanity.
"As healthcare professionals, we have a legal and moral obligation to care for people no matter where they come from. We do not ask about immigration status. We do not base our care on your class, your insurance status, your religion, your gender or sexual identity. We are trained to provide care with the same standard and level of compassion to every patient we see. Nurses, physicians, lawyers, elected officials and other advocates have all reported on the unsafe conditions in immigration detention centers. Children and adults have died in custody. Migrants have been denied medication, have been medically neglected, and have been verbally and physically abused. Those in custody have not received preventative care and those in our communities who are scared that their families will be torn apart by ICE raids have not been able to safely seek out healthcare. These reprehensible conditions expose these vulnerable men, women and children to unnecessary and extreme toxic stress that, for many, will have long term impacts on their physical and psychological health.
"The healthcare access and well-being of individuals must be a borderless and apolitical issue. If we cannot function appropriately as professionals and provide healthcare as a human right, then our standing as a free and caring society is diminished. Everyone deserves access to safe housing, quality schools and nutritious food, but health is the foundation of all other public goods. Every person should feel safe seeking healthcare. No patient arriving at any hospital or clinic in any location should fear that receiving healthcare places them and their families at risk for detention and/or deportation. Any migrant, in any place along the immigration process, deserves to be treated with humanity and compassion. We join together as healthcare professionals and demand better from our government and for all people."
Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.
SOURCE Massachusetts Nurses Association
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