Local Agencies Ready Resources For Border Children Plan - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Local Agencies Ready Resources For Border Children Plan

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More local organizations are gearing up to help any undocumented children that might come to this area under the Caring Cities Campaign initiated by Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba. Even for some agencies that have immigration programs already it's still unfamiliar territory.

Community Health Care clinics already see a number of area immigrants as patients as a place that provides health and dental care. They also serving those who are undocumented.

"They come in and we treat them as anybody who would have eligible immigration status," said Mateo Tiry-Ortiz, the Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator Community Health Care.

He says staff members find out what their needs are and fill the gaps. If they aren't eligible for Medicaid then a sliding fee discount is offered based on income. Staff say they try to consider difficult situations these clients might be in.

"We don't want to add anymore stress to their already stressful lives knowing that they do have some challenges they face," added Tiry-Ortiz.

As a part of the Caring Cities Campaign the agency is willing to help unaccompanied children who might come to the Quad Cities. Though how much help could actually be given is still a big question that needs answered.

"Because a lot of these kids are minors and don't have legal guardians or parents with them, who is giving us permission to actually provide these services?" he added.

They're waiting on guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services on that. Even with translation services it could be hard telling what their needs are or how much care they had back at home. Without knowing a number of children if this plan becomes reality, Community Health Care officials say they'll do what they can with the resources they have. They're also wondering if additional government funding would come in at some point.

"How do we get reimbursed? We're still waiting to hear for clarification on that and really taking it step by step," he said.

The a date for the next Caring Cities Campaign meeting is still pending.

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