Mayor Jenny Wilson trying to help immigrants feeling fear in getting help

Coronavirus Updates

FILE – In this July 8, 2019, file photo, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer looks on during an operation in Escondido, Calif. San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore says he will comply with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s request for information on four people with criminal records, becoming the first state or local law enforcement official in the country to so honor such requests among a spate of jurisdictions whose laws sharply restrict cooperation with immigration authorities. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull,File)

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson is letting the immigrant communities know she is doing everything she can to reduce their fears.

In a statement issued by Mayor Wilson, she said she recognizes that immigrants are represented in many of the vital businesses and critical occupants in Salt Lake County.

“As the Mayor of a welcoming community, I want to assure you, our immigrant residents, that your health and safety matter,” Mayor Wilson stated. “I will do whatever I can to reduce unnecessary fear. There are no checkpoints and there is no cause for anyone to carry a specific letter to verify their place of employment.”

Wilson said she encourages all residents to follow health orders issued by the state and local leaders and said the county’s office for new Americans is there to support their unique needs.

The Mayor’s office has posted the following information for immigrants on their website slco.org/new-americans.

If you feel ill:

  • Separate yourself and stay in a room away from other people in your home.
  • Stay home except to get medical care. Do not go to work, school, or any public place.
  • Call your healthcare provider before arriving for medical care.
  • Avoid public transit, ride-sharing, and taxis.
  • If possible, wear a facemask when you are around other people.

What if I don’t have a healthcare provider?

  • Call the State of Utah Novel Coronavirus Hotline, 1-800-456-7707.

The operators are able to connect with a third-party interpreter.
For can also go to https://slco.org/health/COVID-19/ for information.

Do hospitals and clinics share citizenship or immigration status information with ICE?

No. The federal law known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) generally prohibits the use or disclosure of patient information without the patient’s consent. Additionally, health care providers are not legally required to report to federal immigration authorities about a patient’s immigration status.

Will getting tested for COVID-19 or accessing charity care or discounted care at a hospital or clinic threaten my ability to apply for a green card or citizenship under the new public charge rules?

No. Getting tested for COVID-19 and accessing charity or discounted medical care will not affect your ability to apply for a green card or citizenship. Local healthcare discounted care programs are not listed as a public benefit under the current public charge rule. To make this even clearer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued this statement clarifying that “treatment or preventive services” related to the COVID-19 outbreak will not be considered for public charge purposes.

The public charge rule only considers the use of the following types of public assistance in its analysis:

  • Means-tested cash benefits like SSI (Supplemental Security Income)TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), and state means-tested cash benefits like GAU (General Assistance Unemployable).
  • Government-sponsored long-term institutional care (like a nursing home or mental health facility usually covered by Medicaid).
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called “Food Stamps.”
  • Subsidized Housingsuch as a) federal rental housing assistance, b) Section 8 housing vouchers, c) housing funded by Project-based Section 8.

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