Health and legal fair in Fresno draws crowds
November 21, 2015
• Families began lining up at 3 a.m.
• “Thousands of people in the Valley are living without health insurance”
More than 500 people and families from the Fresno area took advantage of free legal and health care enrollment assistance Saturday at an event at the consulate of Mexico.
With the help of legal experts and attorneys, more than 80 immigrants completed either first-time or renewal applications for the federal “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program, which offers undocumented immigrants protection from deportation as well as expanded access to health care and jobs.
Lines started forming at the consulate well before sunrise, with some waiting as early as 3 a.m.
“The number of people who came to today’s event reminds us how critical it is for California immigrants to have access to services offered through the DACA program,” says Mexican Consul Vicente Sanchez Ventura. “We look forward to the day when thousands more will be eligible for deferred action.”
The event also provided people health care enrollment help, including Medi-Cal applications and renewals. Immigrants with DACA status, who also meet income requirements, are eligible for Medi-Cal.
“Thousands of people in the Valley are living without health insurance, and today’s health fair and DACA clinic provides an opportunity for individuals to get help with enrolling in health care programs in addition to receiving DACA application assistance,” says Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, who attended the event. "While we have made strides in recognizing the importance of immigrants, there is still more work to be done to ensure that everyone has access to quality and affordable health care services.”
The event was hosted in partnership with Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative, the Consul of Mexico in Fresno, Clinica Sierra Vista, and Fresno Building Healthy Communities, part of the California Endowment’s 10-year initiative to create improvements in the health of communities statewide