Media Contact

Micah Kubic, Executive Director
913-490-4101 
mkubic@aclukansas.org

November 3, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2015


FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT Micah Kubic Executive Director, ACLU of Kansas 816-994-3314 mkubic@aclukansas.org

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (November 3, 2015) – A broad and diverse coalition of Kansas organizations is voicing its opposition to a proposal being considered by the Board of Sedgwick County Commissioners.  The Board is currently considering a proposal to ask patients at the county’s public health clinic about their immigration status prior to delivering services.  No other public health department in the country currently has such a policy.

Six organizations—including representatives of the faith-based, legal, advocacy, victims’ rights, immigrant rights, and social services communities—expressed their strong opposition to the proposed policy.  The coalition issued a joint letter to the five-member Board of Sedgwick County Commissioners calling on the proposal to be rejected.  The full text of the letter is attached.

The coalition opposes the proposed policy because it will undermine public health in Sedgwick County, because the proposal violates federal regulations, and because it could result in the county losing federal funds that are crucial to the county’s entire population.

“Status inquiry policies have a documented history of resulting in reduced usage of services.  Reduced use of public health services would be deeply harmful to all the residents of Sedgwick County,” the coalition members wrote in their letter.  “In addition, the proposal raises serious legal issues and would make the county vulnerable to litigation on several different counts.”  The coalition members noted that similar immigration status inquiry policies have been struck down by courts in other jurisdictions.

The coalition members urged the Board of Sedgwick County Commissioners to reject the proposal when it comes before the body later this month.

Those signing onto the letter include Advocates for Immigrant Rights and Reconciliation, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas, American Immigration Lawyers Association – Missouri/Kansas Chapter, Kansas Appleseed, Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Metropolitan Organization for Racial and Economic Equity, and Sister Therese Bangert (Social Justice Coordinator of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth).

For more information, contact Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Kansas, at 913-490-4101 or mkubic@aclukansas.org.

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