From January 2014 to October 2015, Fraser Health referred approximately 500 patients to the federal police force tasked with immigration enforcement.
by Travis Lupick on December 9th, 2015
Byron Cruz has encountered the sorts of situations that arise when someone is afraid a trip to a hospital could end with them being deported from the country.
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He once helped a man injured on a construction site connect with a veterinarian who stitched closed a deep cut, for example. And Cruz says it’s common for pregnant women to seek his network’s help for deliveries.
“My number works as a 911 number for undocumented people,” he said, interviewed at his office in the Downtown Eastside. “We never announced our services, but my number has been given to people as the number they can call. That is very scary, because 911 is for emergencies.”
Cruz is an organizer with Sanctuary Health, a group that promises people can access care without fear of any complication that might arise from their immigration status.