A Tortured Choice for Immigrants: Your Health or Your Green Card?
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A Tortured Choice for Immigrants: Your Health or Your Green Card?

Scrolling down the list of my primary care patients, I wondered who might be affected. A pregnant woman from Cameroon. An elderly woman with brittle bones from the Dominican Republic. A man with cancer from Ecuador. The Trump administration’s proposal to deny green card status to people who use services like food assistance and Medicaid threaten several of my patients with a harrowing choice: their health, or their immigration status. Continue reading

The Health 202: The clock is ticking on stricter ‘public charge’ rules for immigrants
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The Health 202: The clock is ticking on stricter ‘public charge’ rules for immigrants

In a strange reversal from the way new regulations are usually put forward, the Department of Homeland Security released a draft of the rule a few weeks ago but hadn’t yet posted it in the federal register. When that happens today, it will kick off a 60-day public comment period where you can bet doctors and other health advocates will be pushing for DHS to back away from the changes the agency is seeking. Continue reading

L.A. County could join fight against Trump immigration rule
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L.A. County could join fight against Trump immigration rule

The ink isn’t yet dry on a controversial Trump administration proposal that could deny visas or permanent residency to immigrants who use public assistance programs, but some Los Angeles County officials are readying their opposition.

The Board of Supervisors is expected this week to consider sending a letter to federal leaders asserting that the proposed rule would cause “significant harm” to the county and its residents.

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Trump Wants to Turn the Safety Net Into a Trap
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Trump Wants to Turn the Safety Net Into a Trap

The Trump administration wants to change how the government defines who is or is likely to become a “public charge.” The Department of Homeland Security released a draft regulation on Sept. 22, in which it proposed that any immigrant who is likely to use or who has already used Medicaid, public housing or a rent voucher, cash assistance or food stamps could be barred from the country or kept from getting permanent resident status. Continue reading

Trump’s Public-Charge Rule Is a One-Two Punch Against Immigrants and Public Assistance
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Trump’s Public-Charge Rule Is a One-Two Punch Against Immigrants and Public Assistance

Although these rumors were inaccurate, they were based on a widely reported development: the Trump Administration was considering ways to revamp the access that immigrants have to public benefits. That fact was enough to intimidate Arelii, given what she knew about Donald Trump. “These benefits were going to be a block on my son’s application,” she told me. “I was divided in two. To give my son a chance, I had to take something away from my daughter.” Continue reading

Trump’s ‘public charge’ rule for immigrants attacks a problem that doesn’t exist
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Trump’s ‘public charge’ rule for immigrants attacks a problem that doesn’t exist

If immigrants use a Section 8 housing voucher or buy groceries with SNAP, this revised regulation could label that person a “public charge” — a dependent on the government — and the Department of Homeland Security could deny her or him a green card. Further, if an immigrant left the United States for an extended period (perhaps to care for an ailing parent), the public charge label could also result in being permanently denied reentry. Continue reading

Trump’s latest immigration proposal is a looming public health crisis
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Trump’s latest immigration proposal is a looming public health crisis

Today, people who have immigrated here, like my parents, are facing another targeted, xenophobic attack. The Trump administration, which has already implemented a travel ban against five majority-Muslim countries — including Iran — and locked immigrant children in cages, proposed a new rule this month that would punish legal immigrants for accessing basic needs programs. Continue reading