On Tuesday, intern Tom Giratikanon wrote about the
possible closure of El Centro de la Familia, a health program
that reaches out to the growing Hispanic population in the county.
The Kitsap County Health Department, which administers the program,
is facing budget cuts and needs to look at closing the center to
save $65,000 on a $200,000 budget deficit, district officials say.
A budget hearing is set for Aug. 20.
The story has drawn comments on the Kitsap Sun Web site from a
number of readers, including Sharon O’Hara who asks, “Are these
people here legally or are they illegal aliens?”
To which another writer, “baisah,” responds, “Are you asking
that question about ‘them being here legally or are they illegal
aliens’, just because they are Hispanic??
Poor is poor and knows no boundaries.. From the other comments, it
looks like there are other important services being cut as
Tom said he did not mention the issue of immigration (legal or
illegal) in the story because it was not part of health officials’
thought process as they considered budget cuts.
But now that the issue has been raised, what do you see as the
role of public health programs in meeting the needs of undocumented
people living in Kitsap and North Mason counties?