South Kern Sol, News Report, Earl Parsons

Photo above: Arvin Mayor Pro-Tem Jose Gurrola, speaking as a private citizen.

A coalition of immigrant rights proponents rallied at the Kern County Board of Supervisors meeting on August 17 to demand that undocumented immigrants in their community be given access to health care.

Before the Board of Supervisors held a public meeting to hear public comment on the 2015-16 fiscal budget, community activists with the #HEALTH4ALL campaign held a press conference at the entrance of the Kern County Administrative Center, urging lawmakers to extend health care rights to immigrants. The campaign is to support two bills sponsored by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens  — SB 4 and SB 10 – both of which will provide all California residents with access to health care, regardless of their immigration status. The bills are currently making their way through the legislature.

Several county officials also spoke at the press conference.

“Health care for all, regardless of immigration status, is morally the right thing to do, and is fiscally responsible governance,” said Arvin Mayor Pro-Tem Jose Gurrola. He said he was speaking as a private citizen and not as a representative of the Arvin City Council. “Health and disease (do) not discriminate.”

Speaker after speaker pointed out that by providing everyone access to health care, uninsured people could avoid expensive emergency room visits.

“Because of a broken immigration system and a lack of leadership at the federal level, we have millions of people in this country and thousands in this county who are living under the shadows without access to primary and preventive care,” Gurrola said, noting that it costs taxpayers more money in the long run.

Read more here.

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