Public Charge Proposed Rule Is an Attack on Immigrants; Will Hurt Public Health Efforts to End HIV and Hepatitis

By Kyle Taylor October 10, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 10, 2018

CONTACT: Kyle Taylor
Associate Director, Communications, NASTAD
ktaylor@NASTAD.org | 202-434-7134

Public Charge Proposed Rule Is an Attack on Immigrants; Will Hurt Public Health Efforts to End HIV and Hepatitis
The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) leadership weighs in on its impact

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Department of Homeland Security published its “public charge” rule in the Federal Register, starting a 60-day comment period. The proposed rule would make it harder for legal immigrants to enter this country or to obtain a green card by requiring immigrants to demonstrate that they have not used or will not use an array of public benefits, including Medicaid. The proposed rule would heavily disfavor individuals with a serious medical condition or disability and create a new bright line test for income, barring individuals and families with lower incomes from obtaining lawful immigration status.

“The proposed rule is yet another example of the way that this Administration has continued its assault on the dignity and personhood of immigrants. In addition to harming the individuals directly impacted by the new expanded scope of the public charge determination, the proposed rule and the dangerous rhetoric behind it is already having a severe chilling effect on access to an array of public health and healthcare services across the board,” noted NASTAD Acting Executive Director Terrance Moore.  “Not only is this rule appalling for its anti-immigrant bias, but by creating barriers to HIV and hepatitis prevention and care services, this rule threatens our nation’s public health.” 

“Our nation is stronger because of the immigrants that make it up. We will fight any federal policy that bars immigrants living with HIV and hepatitis from lifesaving care and treatment,” Moore concluded. NASTAD, along with national HIV and hepatitis partners, will be submitting comments on the proposed rule, urging the Administration to weigh the public health consequences of punishing individuals for accessing HIV and hepatitis prevention, care, and treatment services.

About NASTAD

Founded in 1992, NASTAD is a leading non-partisan non-profit association that represents public health officials who administer HIV and hepatitis programs in the U.S. and around the world. Our singular mission is to end the intersecting epidemics of HIV, viral hepatitis, and related conditions. We do this work by strengthening domestic and global governmental public health through advocacy, capacity building, and social justice.

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