Articles Tagged with Immigrant

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medical-563427_640Blanca Borrego, an immigrant from Monterrey, Mexico, has been living undocumented in the United States for 12 years and has no criminal record, but she was arrested following a gynecologist visit on September 3 due to a fake Texas driver’s license.

Borrego’s husband has private health insurance through his job, so when Borrego went for an appointment with her doctor – one she’s been making regularly for the past 18 months – she didn’t think anything of it. But Dr David Bonilla usually saw her at a different hospital, and when she signed in at the Memorial Hermann Medical Group Northeast Women’s Healthcare Group they asked her for her identification and then realized the license was a fake.

County and hospital officials defend their actions and say they were just following the letter of the law, but immigration activists are in the midst of planning protests because they believe that the arrest will cause immigrants to refrain from seeking necessary medical treatment out of fear that the same thing will happen to them. Ana Rodriguez DeFrates, state policy and advocacy director in Texas for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, says “medical settings should be free from immigration enforcement,” and that law enforcement officials should ask themselves if women trying to get their healthcare needs met with their families is really where the threat to immigration standards is.

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holy-wine-177210_640While immigrants to the United States may face discrimination in some areas of the country, the Catholic Church welcomes them as their numbers keep the pews filled and continue to replenish its ranks year after year. One such church, St Helena’s of north Philadelphia, was actually built by immigrants from Germany and Ireland almost 100 years ago, and continues to see a wide range of nationalities in attendance every week. The senior priest of the church, Reverend Joseph Trinh, is himself an immigrant from Vietnam, and says that it is his and his colleagues responsibility to continue keeping the church alive and welcoming new generations as they were once welcomed.

Of course, the makeup of the Catholic Church as a whole is changing. Recent numbers show that the white population in attendance at Mass is decreasing, while the participation of Hispanic, Asian, and other minorities is steadily on the rise. This shift is most notable in urban parishes, especially across the Northeast – many have had to close due to lack of attendance, while churches like St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Oakland, California, see Spanish Masses both Saturdays and Sundays full to bursting with entire families.

William D’Antonio, a sociologist who has been studying trends in US Catholicism for almost 60 years, says, “We’re in the twilight of the white ethnic European Catholic Church. We are in a new era. Within 40 years, this will be a colorful church.”

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