“During our City Council meeting this week, my colleague, Council Member Toni Lawrence made reference to the 23 month old child who died of Swine Flu in a local hospital. She emphasized that “The child was not a United States citizen” and added that “we need to do things for Houston and not for anybody else.” Consequently, those comments have negatively alarmed many residents throughout the city.
Now is not the time for rhetoric that could potentially have a negative impact on public health. Now is not the time to inject a person’s immigration status in this very critical issue. If an individual is showing symptoms, we want them to seek immediate medical treatment without fear of being questioned of their immigration status. If we do not alleviate these concerns quickly, people will not seek treatment. Unfortunately, they will not restrict their contact with neighbors either. At this time, the treatment of all cases is more imperative than any discussion on immigration status.
I want to urge everyone, regardless of their background, to see their physician if they feel ill. If they do not have a physician, they can visit a Federally Qualified Health Clinic, such as El Centro de Corazon, which has clinics at 412 Telephone and 7037 Capitol.
My deepest condolences go out to the family of the deceased child.”
Council Member Rodriguez represents District I on the Houston City Council. He is available for interviews on a case by case basis.