Health Care Providers: A Guide to Best Practices for Protecting Your Rights and Your Patient’s Rights

Health Care Providers: Preserve Access to Care and Protect Your Patients from Border Patrol and ICE Interference

A Guide to Best Practices for Protecting Your Rights and Your Patient’s Rights


ACLU of Texas | National Immigration Law Center | Physicians for Human Rights

The threat of immigration enforcement and presence of law enforcement at health care facilities deters immigrants and communities of color from seeking needed medical services. Border communities are particularly vulnerable given the frequent presence of U.S. Border Patrol agents at hospitals, which is compounded by the enforcement actions of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that threaten immigrant communities across the country.

The impact of immigration officials’ presence and actions at health care facilities is especially acute during times of public health crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Health care providers should be informed of their rights, the rights of their patients, and the steps they can take to protect their patients and ensure access to care without fear or discrimination.

To that end, this fact sheet provides information to hospitals, medical centers, community health centers, other health care facilities, health care professionals, medical associations, and advocates on how to prepare for and respond to:

  • enforcement actions by immigration officials
  • interactions with law enforcement that could result in immigration consequences for their patients
  • law enforcement presence that deters access to care.



  • Your Facility as a Sensitive Location and Essential Service
  • Legal Rights of Health Care Providers and Their Patients
  • Best Practices for Protecting the Rights of Yourself and Your Patients from Immigration Enforcement
  • Protect Your Patients’ Ability to Access Care
  • Other Resources
    – Guidance for Health Care Providers
    – Client/Patient (General Public) Resources
    – Find/Consult an Attorney
    – Recursos en español
  • Appendix I: Federal Search Warrant
  • Appendix II: Immigration Related Arrest Warrant