NAPNAP Call To Action: Protect Immigrant Children's Access to Health Care
The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Health Policy Team has issued the following call to action:
"On October 10, the Department of Homeland Security officially published regulations proposing to fundamentally change the way that federal officials would evaluate whether an immigrant qualifies to enter the country or become a lawful permanent resident. By expanding the kind of non-cash federal assistance that could identify a person as a "public charge" likely to be dependent on federal programs, the proposed policies would make it much more difficult for low-income immigrant families to get a "green card." But the proposed rules would have a much broader impact: immigrant families would be forced to choose between meeting their basic health care, food and housing needs and the dream of a secure future in the United States.
Even though these policies are only proposed, many immigrants are already choosing not to seek health care or nutrition aid for themselves and their children for fear of jeopardizing their immigration status. Children who rely on Medicaid or supplemental nutrition aid are already being harmed as their parent choose to forego assistance to avoid being targeted. Like all children, those in immigrant families benefit when they have access to care that meets their basic needs and promotes their development. Children are vulnerable to harm when they experience stress and instability such as lack of housing, health care, or enough to eat.
Comment NOW on the proposed "public charge" rule! Federal law offers every citizen the chance to submit a "public comment" on this proposed policy before it can be finally adopted - and the federal government must consider each perspective and either explain why it disagrees, or change the policy. NAPNAP strongly urges all of its members to submit an individual comment on the proposed "public charge" rule by Monday, December 10. This comment period is the best - and the only - opportunity for the public to weigh in on this proposed rule.
It's quick and easy to submit a comment by using our draft text. However - be sure to make your comment personal by removing "insert experience here" and adding your personal experience to explain how deterring immigrant families from using these public services will harm the children and families you care for. If you can, give a short, clear description of the kind of incidents you've experienced with your patients."
Please support the health and well-being of immigrant and other children in our country. It only takes a few seconds!
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