Since late 2016, the U.S. political climate for immigrants has become increasingly hostile. New government policies and increased enforcement have created even more barriers for immigrants seeking to access care and coverage.
Immigrant communities have become fearful of seeking the vital health care services they need due to government harassment, threat of deportation, and family separation.
An already troubling situation has been made worse by federal government actions that dramatically impact immigrant communities, including directing immigration officers to broadly detain and deport undocumented immigrants, changing the “public charge” regulations, and attempting to end the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
What is HCFA doing to address this problem?
- Developing and updating immigrants’ health care rights educational materials in English, Spanish, and Portuguese to keep underserved populations informed about their rights as well as immigration and healthcare-related policy changes
- Delivering immigrant health care rights trainings and webinars for advocates, health care and immigration service providers, community leaders, and community member
- Implementing outreach and education activities through churches, health fairs, businesses, and other partners
- Disseminating information about immigrant health care rights through mainstream, community serving media and social media
- Connecting providers with the Immigrant Health Toolkit. HCFA has worked to create a web-based platform that includes high-quality information about various issues related to immigrants’ rights and protections in accessing health care.
HCFA has deepened its partnership with Health Law Advocates (HLA) to lead the Immigrant Health Care Access Coalition (IHAC), a group of 100+ organizations, each with a particular area of expertise in immigration, health care, and/or related legal issues. With the broad expertise and diverse experiences of its member organizations, IHAC has allowed HCFA and its partners to respond to the numerous crises impacting immigrants with a set of actions and resources that are tailored to the specific needs of immigrant communities.
Guided by the national efforts of the Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) campaign, HCFA, HLA, Massachusetts Immigrant, and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute organized a statewide effort and launched the PIF MA steering committee. For 3+ years now, MIRA, HCFA, HLA, and MLRI have worked together to fight against the “public charge” rule, mobilize opposition from diverse stakeholders, and educate advocates, service providers, immigrant communities, and the media about the rule.
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