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Immigrant Health

Immigrant Health

Current issues impacting immigrant health: Please find below our current priorities and issues affecting immigrant health.

1. Our priority: Expanding Children’s Health Access

Expand Health Coverage for Children was introduced by Representative D. Rogers & Senator DiDomenico (H. 162/ S. 677) 

 

Currently, low-income immigrant children who are not otherwise eligible for MassHealth can access only very limited health coverage, which leaves them without adequate access to many services, including prescription drugs, mental health services, durable medical equipment, dental services, and emergency care. An Act to ensure equitable health coverage for children would expand MassHealth coverage to low-income children whose only barrier to accessing comprehensive coverage is their immigration status. Other states, including California, Washington, Oregon, Illinois, and New York have already enacted this policy.

2. Public Charge Rule

Federal immigration uses a “public charge” test to determine who may be denied a visa or adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence (a “green card”). You may have heard about policy changes that could penalize immigrants for using some public benefits (government programs that may help you pay for food, housing or health care) and would make it more difficult for a family of 4 who earns less than $64,000 a year to obtain a green card. On January 27, 2020, The U.S. Supreme Court lifted the last nationwide preliminary injunction, allowing the implementation of this new “public charge” rule while it is being challenged in court by several lawsuits. However, many people are not subject to “public charge” or do not qualify for the benefits considered under the rule. Before making any decision regarding your use of benefits, please consult our factsheet. 

HCFA has created a handout to help Massachusetts residents understand the rule a clear up common misconceptions that are being spread about it. It is important that you understand the rule, determine whether it applies to you, and make informed decisions about health care options for you and your family. Find the handout (English) here! You may find it in other languages here娱乐棋牌红包扫雷, including:

3. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

The DACA program was established by President Obama in 2012 and allows hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants to live, work, and study in the US. Despite the administration's many efforts to end the DACA program, it is still alive. Since the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear DACA cases this term, we expect that DACA renewals will be processed until at least 2019.

If you or someone you know has DACA expiring in 2019 (or already expired), please renew as soon as possible! Please refer to our partner, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Agency Coalition for more details at .

4. Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

TPS is a humanitarian designation assigned to people who cannot safely return to their home countries because of armed conflicts, natural disasters, epidemics, or other serious conditions. A country must be designated for TPS first, and then eligible nationals from that location have a limited amount of time to apply for the status. This designation allows people to work and receive benefits in the US. The current administration has sought to end TPS for a variety of countries, leading to several lawsuits. 

Please refer to our partner, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Agency Coalition for more details at .

5. Changes to the Asylum-Seeking Process

While Congress battles over immigration, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions did everything in his power to create unbearable burdens on undocumented immigrants in general and asylum seekers in particular. Sessions focused on dismantling and remodeling the wealth of policies, procedures, and memos that delineate the specifics about how the government carries out immigration enforcement.

Without fanfare, Sessions managed to implement harsher  appearing in immigration court, limit the ability of immigration attorneys to , curtail immigrants’ ability to  to a court closer to where they are living, and . Even though it actually , Sessions pulled immigration judges off their regular dockets and sent them to the southern border to decide the asylum claims of detained immigrants. Not content to leave asylum law in the hands of actual judges, Sessions also liberally utilized  that allows him to refer immigration cases to himself. So far, his decisions in those cases have restricted judges’ ability to pause deportation proceedings, and gutted protections for victims of domestic and gang violence. 

6. Immigrant Detention and Family Separation

The outcry over the zero-tolerance policy which led to families being torn apart at the border so parents could be detained and prosecuted led to President Trump issuing an executive order ostensibly halting it. While the order appears to put a stop to a heinous policy, it marks the beginning of another battle which is just as worrisome. Not only is the administration asking to detain families, but there is still concern over the health and whereabouts of children already separated from their parents.   

The disorganized implementation and dehumanization of the zero tolerance policy has exacerbated the health risks to immigrants who cross the border. A report released by the Human Rights Watch on June 20 details the , and this disturbing record of health care in detention facilities does not bode well for the safety of children the administration wants to detain.  

Our partners are working to reunite families in Massachusetts. The Brazilian Worker Center recently helped . We applaud all efforts to quickly and efficiently bring children back to their parents.

7.  2020 Census Citizenship Question

The Trump administration is working to add a question about citizenship status to the 2020 Census. We believe this will undermine the accuracy of the census because immigrants (both with and without documentation) might refuse to fill out the form, thereby under-counting these populations. This would then affect many decisions regarding the allocation of resources. Our partners at Community Catalyst recently sent out an action alert on the census question which eloquently expresses the potential impacts of adding a question on citizenship. Thank you to Senior State Advocacy Manager Alberto González for providing this plan of action: 

The proposal to add the citizenship question goes directly against the vital need to address the census’ historical undercounting of underserved communities. Adding this question discourages participation and threatens the accuracy of the count. The census, conducted every 10 years, provides data in determining fair political representation, directs the allocation of key resources to states, localities, and families, and helps businesses decide where to build and grow. 

The citizenship question has important implications on how  in federal funds for  are appropriated and delivered to states, including funding for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In FY2015, states received approximately $589.7 billion from 16 large federal financial assistance programs, with the allocations based on data from the 2010 Census.

8. Fear Impacting Health Access

In early 2017, medical providers and community organizations began reporting that immigrant patients were avoiding or delaying health care services due to fears of intensified immigration enforcement. Since that time, the federal government’s threatening rhetoric and actions toward immigrants – both perceived and actual – have further ratcheted up fear in our communities.

For resources, join or log into our Immigrant Health Toolkit!

 

About us:

娱乐棋牌红包扫雷information about ihac and the iht.

1. About the toolkit ("IHT"):

the immigrant health toolkit offers a range of health care-focused resources for organizations serving immigrant communities in massachusetts. the idea for this toolkit arose in early 2017 when medical providers and community organizations began reporting that immigrant patients were avoiding or delaying health care services due to fears of intensified immigration enforcement. since that time, the federal government’s threatening rhetoric and actions toward immigrants – both perceived and actual – have further ratcheted up fear in our communities. the goal of the immigrant health toolkit is to equip medical and social service providers with, 1) background information about immigrants’ legal rights, 2) resources for immigrants seeking legal and advocacy help, 3) up-to-date news about government actions affecting access to care or coverage, and 4) an entry point into campaigns that are fighting back.

2. About the Immigrant Health Access Committee ("IHAC"):

娱乐棋牌红包扫雷the immigrant healthcare access coalition (ihac) brings together more than 80 organizations from across massachusetts to advocate collectively for improvements in health care and coverage for immigrants. ihac members represent a diverse array of expertise, from health care and immigration policy wonks and legal aid lawyers, to medical providers and community organizations delivering direct services to immigrant populations. the coalition was founded in december 2014 by health law advocates (hla). in 2017, health care for all (hcfa) and the massachusetts immigrant and refugee advocacy coalition (mira) joined hla as members of the ihac steering committee. during the past couple of years, we have focused on issues including preserving immigrants’ eligibility for masshealth and the health connector, language access barriers, and access to long-term care services. recently, we have turned our energies to developing the toolkit and responding to proposed changes in “public charge” admissibility rules.

This project is possible thanks to commitments and funding from Jane's Trust, the Miller Foundation and the MetroWest Health Foundation.
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