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Proposed rule could deny immigrants access to health care, housing, and food

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Trump-Pence administration announced a proposed rule designed to keep families separated, and to scare immigrants already in the U.S. from accessing health care and other basic needs. Under the rule, people could be denied visas, green cards, and entry into the U.S. simply because they have received any one of a broad range of public benefits in the past — including health care, nutrition assistance, and public housing. This long-expected rule would dramatically expand the grounds on which people could be denied admission into the country, and could have dire consequences for immigrant families, regardless of documentation status. Already, immigrant families have been avoiding basic care and benefits out of fear of retaliation from the Trump administration.

Statement of Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

This is a spiteful policy designed to penalize immigrants looking to take care of their basic needs. The Trump-Pence administration will stop at nothing to define and restrict who deserves to be part of this nation. No one’s health or safety should be at risk because of their immigration status. Not only will this heartless rule rob immigrants of their ability to protect themselves and their families, it will rip families apart. The Trump-Pence administration is deliberately sowing fear into immigrant communities across the country to keep them from accessing health care and other basic rights. At Planned Parenthood, we believe that health care has no borders –  this rule must not stand.

More and more immigrants are being forced into the shadows with this proposed rule. It comes on the heels of other attacks on immigrants by this administration, such as the decision to rip millions of families apart by rescinding DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and ending TPS (temporary protected status) for several countries; the physical separation of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border; the rollback of parental rights for parents involved in immigration proceedings; and increased enforcement of detention and deportation. When communities that already face barriers to accessing health care are driven further into the shadows, they will forgo the care they need to preserve both their safety and economic security for their families. These relentless attacks on immigrants by the Trump-Pence administration have contributed to a culture of fear in immigrant communities and keep far too many from seeking the lifesaving care they need.

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.