Things That Matter

Undocumented Victims Of El Paso Shooting Were Too Afraid To Get Help Thinking They Could Face Deportation, This Is Happening In America

First, the Latino community was gunned down in a terror attack at an El Paso Walmart. The terrorist was an alleged White Nationalist who decried the “Hispanic invasion” of Texas, echoing the exact words used by our president and, to be fair, many other Republican politicians.

But now, it’s also been reported that undocumented victims of the attack refused to seek medical care for fear that they may be deported. Not only was our community attacked but the country’s anti-Latino rhetoric is putting lives at an even greater risk.

CNN first reported that some victims of the attack were too afraid to go to hospitals and medical centers thinking they could be deported.

On CNN, for example, the former assistant secretary of Homeland Security Juliette Kayyem noted that according to authorities, it was “clear that there are people who are not reunifying with their family, and there are people they’re worried did not go to hospitals because of their immigration status.”

MSNBC also tweeted that “Hope Border Institute is asking to spread word to reach out to them if you, or someone you know, are a migrant and afraid to come forward in relation to the El Paso mass shooting attack, such as being injured or trying to find family members.”

The Hope Border Institute tweeted support for the community and assured them not to be afraid to seek medical care.

The organization stepped up to help undocumented community when our own government wasn’t saying a word. In their tweet, the organization said: “If you are afraid to contact the authorities regarding the shooting because of your immigration status, please contact Hope Border Institute, and we will help you.”

Many couldn’t believe that something like that even had to be shared.

When people have been harassed and targets of hateful rhetoric and then victims of a terror attack, the last thing they should be worrying about is their legal status. There’s no confirmation if any of the victims who were too afraid to seek medical care have died but just the idea that it was possible, was enough to piss off a lot of people on social media.

Perhaps realizing that people could be dying out of fear of deportation, Border Patrol released a statement.

The West Texas wing of U.S. Customs and Border Protection tweeted:  “We are not conducting enforcement operations at area hospitals, the family reunification center or shelters. We stand in support of our community.”

Still, the episode offers a glimpse into what it’s like to live with the persistent burden of being undocumented in America: Not only does it inject a steady hum of anxiety into daily life thanks to discrimination and fear of deportation, but it also severely limits people’s access to resources in times of crisis.

The tweet from CBP made a lot of people on social media very angry and many called our the agency.

I mean, a federal law enforcement agency shouldn’t have to reassure people who were just victims of a terror attack that they won’t face arrest and detention for going to the hospital.

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