Society of Behavioral Medicine Position Statement: Congress should protect immigrants seeking health care

Pamela Behrman*, Marian Fitzgibbon, Joanna Buscemi, Lisa Sanchez-Johnsen, Helena Laroche, Betina Yanez, Rubi Gonzales, Clement K. Gwede, Sheela Raja, Lisette Jacobson, Virginia Gil-Rivas, Kimlin Tam-Ashing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


According to the Migration Policy Institute (2019), as of 2017 the USA was home to approximately 44 million immigrants, the largest number of immigrants in the world. Most of these immigrants relocate from Mexico, India, China, the Philippines, El Salvador, Vietnam, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. Since 2017, there have been increased reports of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) interventions toward immigrants, especially at and near previously delineated "safe areas" such as medical facilities, as immigrants sought health care. Currently, health care providers are reporting delays and reductions in health care seeking by immigrants. This increases risks of untreated health problems for the immigrants themselves as well as their communities. To protect the health of immigrants, and the general public, the Society of Behavioral Medicine joins the American College of Physicians (2011) and the American Medical Association (2017) in recommending that Congress impose restrictions on ICE interventions in or around medical facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1244-1247
Number of pages4
JournalTranslational behavioral medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 11 2019


  • Health care seeking
  • ICE interventions
  • Immigrants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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