Louisville Metro’s Board of Health discusses immigrant, refugee population

(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 4:10 PM EDT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Metro’s Board of Health held its monthly meeting on Wednesday.

The main topic they focused on was the immigrant and refugee populations in the city.

According to the Kentucky Office of Refugees, the state has seen a significant increase in international arrivals in the past few years. This includes refugees, immigrants, visa holders and more. There were over 4,300 arrivals recorded from October 2020 through September 2021.

The 2022 report showed there were almost 12,000 arrivals all across the Commonwealth. This year, there have been over 8,000 arrivals, 6,900 of which are in Louisville alone.

One thing the board discussed was medical access for those who are living in the metro area.

“Often, they are turned away because they have a status that is not one of the most known statuses,” Jon Sanders with Americana said. “Often, providers will know a citizen. They will know a permanent resident holder, but they won’t know things like a parolee. They won’t know a temporarily protective status. Things that they- and because of that, they don’t want to put themselves in legal jeopardy. So, they are often under-served.”

According to a national report, Kentucky has the fourth-highest number of arrivals, behind Texas, New York and California.