LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Resident physicians gathered on the steps of LAC+USC Medical Center to advocate for a clean DREAM Act and undocumented immigrants seeking healthcare.
"As a pediatrician, I think that threats about deportation and immigration policy really play into healthcare for our children. So, in the most concrete way, families are sometimes afraid to seek out medical care even when it's an emergency," pediatrics resident John Harlow said.
Harlow cited the case of an undocumented 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who was detained by immigration officials after undergoing surgery at a Texas hospital. Rosa Maria Hernandez was released after the ACLU filed a lawsuit. Harlow and many of his colleagues rallied on her behalf in November.
"That same obligation brings us here today, to advocate for the passage of clean DREAM Act immediately," he said during a news conference. "When millions of children and adults who are afraid to come to the hospital for fear of agents who may be here to take them away, this is the business of doctors and it's our obligation to speak up."
The American Academy of Pediatrics urged the Trump administration to ensure children and families fleeing violence and adversity can find refuge in the country.
"My mandate is really to care for every child. Every child who's sick and that doesn't know any boundaries as to where somebody's from or what language they speak," Harlow said.