City pledges to provide health care for unaccompanied immigrant children 

San Francisco is providing health care as well as education for the unaccompanied immigrant children seeking refuge in the United States.

Since last year, more than 47,000 minors have crossed the border into the country unescorted by adults. As many as 500 youth refugees from conflicts in Central America are expected to arrive in San Francisco by the end of the year, the Department of Public Health estimates.

And The City is solidly committed to providing them health care via San Francisco's public options, according to a resolution The City's Health Commission is expected to pass today.

Under the Healthcare Security Ordinance, low-cost access to acute care at San Francisco General Hospital and preventative care through The City's network of clinics is available through Healthy San Francisco.

Unaccompanied immigrants over 18 years old will be enrolled in Healthy San Francisco, with minors receiving pediatric care via The City's Healthy Kids program.

Healthy San Francisco is available for any undocumented person unable to get health insurance through an employer or via the Affordable Care Act-created Covered California insurance exchange.

In addition to health care, unaccompanied undocumented minors arriving in San Francisco are also receiving schooling.

At least 185 of the 1,029 newcomer students entering American public schools for the first time in The City this fall are unaccompanied minors. The San Francisco Unified School District plans to take on extra staff to care for them.

The City is still a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants.

Since 1989, local authorities and city employees have been prohibited from reporting undocumented people to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for deportation in most circumstances.

As many as 60,000 children are expected to cross the border by late October, federal authorities estimate.

About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has worked as a reporter in San Francisco since 2008, with an emphasis on city governance and politics, The City’s neighborhoods, race, poverty and the drug war.
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