FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 25, 2019
FOLLOWING DEATH OF ANOTHER MIGRANT, NYC DOCTORS TO PRESIDENT: “MR. TRUMP, LET US HELP. NOT ONE MORE CHILD CAN DIE IN OUR COUNTRY’S CARE!” – OFFERS TO SEND 200 SPANISH-SPEAKING DOCTORS TO THE BORDER
SOMOS Community Care’s Network of Diverse NYC Doctors Has Deployed Physicians in Previous National Crises, Most Recently Puerto Rico Following Hurricane Maria; Group Currently Participating in Refugee Care Program in New York
(New York, NY) – After yet another migrant from Central America died in US Border Patrol custody yesterday – following the deaths of two children – New York’s largest network of Spanish-speaking doctors have offered their services to respond to the crisis – and to ensure that President Trump and US authorities on the border are turning to culturally competent caregivers as the humanitarian crisis rages on the US-Mexico border, and continue to be at risk:
Please attribute the following statement to SOMOS Community Care Board Chair, Dr. Ramon Tallaj:
“We must be sure that doctors who speak the language and understand the culture of those caught in the crisis on the border are being utilized to best care for the vulnerable children, men and women who are far from their own homes and their own family doctors,” said Dr. Tallaj. “It’s critical that those in crisis can easily and effectively communicate with healthcare providers in their own language, and that is why I am offering 200 Spanish-speaking doctors to President Trump and Secretary Nielsen. These doctors are both general practitioners and expert specialists, and are trained in crisis protocols. We deployed to Puerto Rico in the days after Hurricane Maria, and are at the country’s service now.
Dr. Tallaj continued: “Mr. President, Madame Secretary: vulnerable, precious lives hang in the balance. We cannot let one more migrant die in our country’s care.”
SOMOS doctors have stepped up before in humanitarian crises; a battalion of doctors deployed to Puerto Rico days after Hurricane Maria; currently, SOMOS doctors are participating in a refugee care program in New York spearheaded by Governor Cuomo, Golden Door.
Dr. Tallaj released the following letter (please see below) to President Trump and Homeland Secretary Neilsen today:
The Honorable Donald J. Trump President of the United States of America The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20006
The Honorable Kirstjen Nielsen Secretary of Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security Nebraska Avenue Complex
3801 Nebraska Avenue
Washington, DC 20016
February 25th, 2019
Dear Mr. President and Madam Secretary, I write to you to offer help.
After learning that a third migrant has died in American custody, on our country’s watch, like so many of my fellow Americans, SOMOS physicians are looking to do what they can to ease this crisis. There is a solution that may bring relief: I represent a nonprofit network of over 1,000 Spanish-speaking physicians, many of whom are immigrants themselves and treat New York’s diverse immigrant-rich community. Most of the vulnerable refugees fleeing persistent crisis in their home countries are at the border seeking relief, safety and opportunity. My family and I, and the doctors in the network I lead, have done the same. We are confident that treating those at the border in their own language and with a deep connection to their cultures will go a long way towards easing the healthcare crisis.
We are at your disposal. Today, I am offering to deploy, on your approval, 200 doctors from our network, to the border so that we can be on the front lines of a crisis in care.
In our experience, it is critical that those in crisis can easily and effectively communicate with healthcare providers in their own language. These doctors are both general practitioners and expert specialists and are trained in crisis protocols. A cohort of dozens of doctors from SOMOS were deployed to Puerto Rico in the days after Hurricane Maria, and we are at the country’s service now.
Mr. President, Madame Secretary: vulnerable, precious lives hang in the balance. We cannot let one more migrant die in our country’s care. I hope that we can solve this together.
Dr. Ramon Tallaj Chairman
SOMOS Community Care