Wichita Debates on Immigrant Health

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Health officials have concerns about a proposal under consideration by the Sedgwick County Commission to ask about the immigration status of people seeking immunizations and disease screenings at the county health department clinics. They fear such a move would jeopardize the health of the entire community.

Supporters say they want to collect data to see if immigrants who are living in the country illegally are getting taxpayer-funded services and contend no one would be denied immunizations. But opponents contend the practice would scare people away from seeking services from a public health program whose purpose is to prevent the spread of diseases.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says it does not want to deter people from getting services needed to protect the public health of Kansas.