Sanctuary Doctoring

This web page contains demonstration materials, i.e., VIDEO and a PATIENT FLYER‌, developed by Johana Mejias-Beck, Mark Kuczewski, PhD and Amy Blair, MD.  These materials are designed to be simple and useful in helping physicians and health-care professionals to meet the needs of their patients who may be undocumented or suffering stresses related to close family or community members being undocumented.  While there are many toolkits being developed, we hope that these materials might be very easy to use and enable the physician or other health-care professional to address the most immediate needs of such patients.

We invite you to view the VIDEO and PATIENT FLYER and provide us feedback using this online survey

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Immigration problems can impact your health or the health of a family member or neighbor.  Your doctor can help.  This doctor’s office is a safe place to discuss your concerns and find resources.

If you would like to talk to your doctor about immigration-related problems, just take this sheet into the exam room with you and hand it to the doctor.

You do not have to talk to your doctor about your immigration status.  If you are in need of medical care for which you do not have insurance, your physician or any treating healthcare provider will need to determine if you are eligible for government safety net programs such as Medicaid.

You may simply say “I am not eligible for health insurance and do not wish to apply.” (NILC) 

The Sanctuary Doctor's Pledge

The doctor listed below has pledged to be as helpful as they can be in assisting persons who are suffering from stress and health problems caused by anxieties related to immigration status.  If you are suffering from such stressors, you are welcome to discuss them with this doctor.  They have taken a pledge in order to help you feel safe in any such discussion with them.


We recommend that you find and attend a “Know Your Rights” training conducted by a qualified legal services provider.  It may help to view online know your rights resources if you are unable to find an in-person training session.  It is important to know what to do if federal agents come to your door.  This information usually includes making a “safety plan” regarding what to do if you are detained and you have dependent children in need of care.

National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) 

Local Legal Resources
Physician should write in any local resources such as an immigration law clinic at your local university or any community organizations that can provide referrals to legal services. 

Social and Educational Information for Undocumented Youth

Undocumented young people, sometimes referred to as Dreamers, often face considerable stress for a number of reasons.  Their own future prospects for things such as higher education can seem limited and they are, of course, fear the deportation of loved ones or themselves. A number of advocacy organizations can provide information on navigating potential opportunities and can help individuals to understand that others have faced similar barriers and there can be strategies to address them. Finding local youth advocacy organizations for undocumented youth can be helpful.  There are also important national organizations that can provide helpful information and guidance, especially regarding educational opportunities.

Local Youth or Educational Resources
Physician should write in any local resources such as youth support groups or educational resources available in the local community to counsel undocumented young people.