A new Planned Parenthood clinic in Memphis just opened to “better serve the city’s growing Spanish-speaking population,” according to Memphis Business Journal. But Rewire reports that the clinic is only 400 feet from an Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) office, which has caused an uproar among activists concerned about the safety of potential patients, especially those who are undocumented.
“A Planned Parenthood Federation of America spokesperson told Rewire that when looking to open new locations, Planned Parenthood works with local affiliates to evaluate underserved areas. The process for the Memphis clinic was no different. The spokesperson said the location had been in the works “for a while” and that Planned Parenthood was aware of the proximity to ICE, but purchased the building with the understanding that the ICE office would relocate.”
When the clinic opened on May 1, however, ICE had not moved, and it’s unclear when and if it will do so. Planned Parenthood has outlined steps it’s planning to take to mitigate the risk for the community such as know-your-rights training for staff and immigration lawyers on site at the clinic.
Increased immigration enforcement, including a 150 percent uptick in arrests of undocumented immigrants without criminal records, has created increased panic among immigrant communities. There have been reports of people being detained at courtrooms, schools, churches, and, yes, health care facilities.