Pro-immigrant activists in Chicago are celebrating a “Christmas miracle” after an area hospital said it will provide free treatment for undocumented immigrants lacking health insurance, including several who need urgent organ transplants.
[Rev. José Landaverde, pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Mission], members of his congregation and other religious groups, as well as activists fighting to unite families separated by deportations, held a Christmas “posada” ceremony on Sunday at Rush University Medical Center.
After walking for two hours, participants prayed the rosary at the hospital entrance to recall Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging before the birth of Jesus.
Landaverde said that at least five undocumented families could benefit immediately, although a formal agreement has not yet been signed.
Rush’s promise to help, he said, “will put pressure on other hospitals, who cannot now deny (medical) attention to undocumented people with serious illnesses.”
Among the cases mentioned is that of Marcela Ortiz, 37, who suffers from leukemia and needs a $100,000 bone marrow transplant.
Also, brothers Elfego and Lorenzo Arroyo, both in their mid-30s, suffer from a rare hereditary illness known as amyloidosis and need liver transplants.