The Slatest

El Paso Shooting Victims Might Avoid Hospitals Due to Immigration Status

Erica and Alma Rios cry on the street outside the school.
Residents Erica Rios, 36, and Alma Rios, 61, outside a reunification center at MacArthur Elementary School after the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday.
Joel Angel Juarez/Getty Images

People who need help after the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, may not seek it out because of their immigration status, authorities fear. “This is a concern,” Juliette Kayyem, a former assistant secretary of the Homeland Security Department, told CNN. “It’s clear that there’s people that are not unifying with their family and that there are people they’re worried are injured that did not go to hospitals likely because of their immigration status.”

The Hope Border Institute, a grassroots group based in El Paso, has offered help to immigrants hurt in the shooting.

Undocumented immigrants’ fears of seeking help from authorities would be well-founded. In 2017, immigration authorities detained an undocumented transgender woman in El Paso after she sought help from authorities because she was the victim of domestic violence.