Opposing Harmful “Public Charge” Rule, Medical and Community Groups Stand In Solidarity With Immigrant Families

Posted: October 10, 2018

Press Statement
For Immediate Release
Contacts: Elaiza Torralba, etorralba@ccalac.org, (213) 201-6529
Carolina Gamero, cgamero@caimmigrant.org, (213) 250-0880 ext. 107

October 10, 2018 – The Trump administration announced a proposed rule change that would undermine the safety and well-being of immigrant families. Through a draft proposal on “public charge,” the administration seeks to punish immigrant families for accessing nutrition, health care, and other vital programs for which they are fully eligible. In response to this harmful proposal, a number of members from the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County as well as immigrant advocate and community-based organizations have issued the following statements with deep concern and a commitment to resist any attacks to immigrant communities:

“Trump’s proposed policy is another cruel attack to struggling families across the country, including immigrants. As home to the largest population of immigrants- both documented and undocumented- California’s future lies in ensuring that families are set up to succeed. The administration’s anti-immigrant agenda targets families, forcing them to make the impossible choice of disenrolling from vital programs that serve as a lifeline, or risk being separated from their loved ones.”
– Cynthia Buiza, Executive Director, California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC)

“Clinics are a safe space for patients to seek help for a wide array of services. This rule would deter patients from accessing critical programs they are entitled to, and have a chilling effect on our efforts to improve the health, well-being and economic security of our communities. This rule would undermine the critical strides California has achieved in improving comprehensive, culturally competent and innovative care.”
– Louise McCarthy, President & CEO, Community Clinic Association of LA County (CCALAC)

 
Other organizations in support added the following:

“As a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides high quality accessible healthcare services to patients dealing with significant trauma and the stressors that come from living in fear and in the shadows as a refugee and undocumented individual, Clínica Romero knows that federal immigration policies often disrupt the delicate fabric of these vulnerable communities; affecting the wellbeing of immigrant families and placing their health at risk. The White House’s most recent policy, Public Charge, is one of many recent affronts to immigrant families, which we will continue to decry as a human rights abuse.

Archbishop Romero once said: ‘We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.’ At Clínica Romero, we believe that together with our partners we are planting seeds of trust and safety for immigrant families that will hold the promise of a better future for all of us.”
– Carlos H. Vaquerano, Interim Executive Director, Clínica Monseñor Oscar A. Romero

“In response to the public charge proposal, Kheir Clinic is seeing more missed appointments, requests to disenroll from programs, and widespread fear and mistrust of the government. Those who are eligible for programs such as Medi-Cal, CHIP and SNAP are hesitant to enroll, due to misunderstanding and lack of in-language information on this issue. Many believe it has already been decided that enrollment in these programs will jeopardize their family’s future chances of residency. Kheir has been communicating with the local Korean media outlets to provide accurate information about proposed rule change, but some families continue to avoid critical services that they are eligible for.”
– Erin Pak, CEO of Kheir Clinic

“QueensCare Health Centers has a well established precedent of caring for ALL those in need, regardless of race, religion or immigration status. Regardless of the changes to the Public Charge Rule, we will remain steadfast in carrying out our mission of providing health care to the community.”
– Barbara Hines, President & CEO, QueensCare Health Centers

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Background: The California Immigrant Policy Center and Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County are actively working to advocate to protect immigrant communities who are facing these attacks, as well as express opposition through the 60-day comment period open for public comment. For more information and to learn how to take action, visit: www.protectingimmigrantfamilies.org.

Resources:

About Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County:
CCALAC is the largest regional association of community clinics and health centers in California. Founded in 1994, CCALAC has 65 members that operate over 350 clinic sites throughout LA County. CCALAC is dedicated to serving and representing the interests of its member clinics as providers of quality health care, including medical, dental and pharmacy services.

About the California Immigrant Policy Center:
CIPC advances inclusive policies that build a prosperous future for all Californians, using policy analysis, advocacy and capacity building. It is the premiere immigrant rights institution in the state that promotes and protects safety, health and public benefits and integration programs for immigrants.

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