Sedgwick County should forget about asking clients of the county health department their immigration or citizenship status. In e-mails obtained by The Eagle related to the county’s desire to inquire about the legal status of participants in the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program, federal officials used phrases such as “out of compliance,” “national origin discrimination” and “subject to legal action.” It would be reckless for the county to proceed and risk all federal grant funding, even in the unlikely event that someone at the state level blesses the new application form. And county commissioners cannot keep arguing that asking citizenship status is harmless data collection when they’re also on record as saying their goal is to deny county health services to undocumented immigrants. – Rhonda Holman
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