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ICE, Border Patrol Won't Make Arrests At Vaccination Sites

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Core employees check drivers appointments and ID's before being directed towards the vaccination site at Dodgers Stadium on the first day of vaccinations. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection will not conduct immigration arrests at or near COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites.

DHS released a statement this week, saying that the department supports equal access to the vaccines.

"It is a moral and public health imperative to ensure that all individuals residing in the United States have access to the vaccine," the statement reads. "DHS encourages all individuals, regardless of immigration status, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine once eligible under local distribution guidelines."

Cliníca Romero provides health services in Pico Union and Boyle Heights, and more than 40% of the patients they serve don't have legal status.

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Stephanie Lemus, who directs community affairs for non-profit, says the DHS statement is important:

"Especially when our communities are afraid, due to their status, that anything that could be tied back to, you know, the government, can potentially have a detrimental consequence for them."

Cliníca Romero uses community health workers to help dispel fears that accepting a free service like a coronavirus test or vaccine could harm a person's chances of adjusting their immigration status in the future.

Clinica Romero's first vaccination clinic for seniors is this Saturday. The phone number for appointment is: 213-989-7700.

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