Here are some ways you can help children in immigrant families:
1. Educate yourself:
Join the Special Interest Group on Immigrant Health of the AAP Council on Community Pediatrics. This group has an active listserv. The SIG will be hosting a webinar series offering CME and MOC credit over the course of the academic year. Save the dates for the webinars below and check the KAAP website immigrant health page soon for updated details.
AAP’s Council on Community Pediatrics web page
June 20, 2019: Pediatric Medical Forensic Evaluations for Immigrant & Refugee Children
Minal Giri, MD and Education Work Group member TBD
2. Provide resources in your clinic:
The National Immigration Law Center website (nilc.org) contains many reliable patient resources related to health care. This includes up to date, accurate information about topics like DACA, Affordable Care Act, and Public Charge.
Medical Legal Partnerships http://medical-legalpartnership.org/ are good resources to find an immigration attorney. The attorneys participating in the MLP may or may not have expertise in this area, but they can make a recommendation for a trustworthy attorney. There are many individuals preying on the high levels of fear among immigrant families. The American Immigration Lawyers Association aila.org is another reliable place to find information about immigration news and reputable attorneys.
Refer your families to the local embassy. Embassy-finder.com is a great tool to find a local embassy or consulate. They offer free consultations and other resources for immigrants living abroad.
Speak up for immigrant children in your community. Become a key contact for the AAP Department of Federal Affairs by sending an email to email@example.com. They send weekly emails with specific details about the AAP response to issues, breaking news, and advocacy messages.
Advocate for funding for community health workers (CHW). Neither Kansas nor Missouri insurance providers currently reimburse for CHWs despite evidence showing they help keep patients out of the emergency department.
Volunteer with local organizations serving immigrants and refugees.
Sign up to provide medical review for immigrant children. MRI seeks to link clinicians with pro-bono attorneys and clinicians to get immigrants out of detention and into medical care. https://www.migrantclinician.org/
5. Care for yourself:
Caring for families affected by trauma can be exhausting and traumatic for providers. Watch for signs of secondary trauma in yourself and practice self-care.