EAST LOS ANGELES : Rally Staged Lauding Clinic’s 187 Position


More than 40 residents gathered last week at the Casa Maravilla housing project to support staff members from a nearby clinic who have vowed to disregard Proposition 187’s provision that they verify patients are in the country legally.

The rally Wednesday was the second in as many months held for staff members at the county-operated Edward R. Roybal Comprehensive Health Center, said Dr. Jack Kent, who has worked at the clinic for 10 years.

“We appreciate the community’s support,” Kent said. “We need unity, especially in the Latino community. If there is community support, it (Proposition 187) will be difficult to implement.”


Casa Maravilla residents said they attended the rally to support opposition to Proposition 187, which would deny most public services, including non-emergency medical aid, to illegal immigrants. Voters overwhelmingly approved the initiative in November, but it has not gone into effect pending several court challenges.

About 50 staff members signed a petition two months ago saying they would never enforce the law, a provision of which compels health workers in publicly funded clinics to refuse services to suspected illegal immigrants who cannot prove legal residency. Employees would also have to report any undocumented or suspected undocumented persons to the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

“We don’t want them to be looking at whether we’re documented or not,” said Isidro Olmos, who serves on the Casa Maravilla Resident Advisory Council. “We just support them for saying they will not report us to Immigration. We have unconditional support of them.”

Kent said he has not noticed a drop in patients in the adult services area, where he works, but doctors are reporting a drop in prenatal appointments.