CPCA and health center members have been immensely troubled by the tone of the national discussions on immigration, especially when they instill fear in our immigrant patients and keep them from accessing healthcare services and other lifesaving programs. As we approach the end of the Trump Administration’s second year, the attacks on our immigrant patients and communities have only increased, furtherer marginalizing this section of our population.
In response, CPCA and CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates (the advocacy arm of CPCA), have been working closely with our immigrant-focused partners to amplify the health center voice by creating resources that assist health centers in advocating against changes that would negatively impact our immigrant patients and communities. Given that in California one of every two children has an immigrant parent and over half of all children are enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program, CPCA has taken a leadership role in helping to provide resources to its members and other state PCAs in the hopes of increasing advocacy efforts by all health centers across the nation.
Below you will find an update on the immigration work that CPCA is leading:
National Health Center Immigration Workgroup
CPCA, in coordination with the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) and the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), has created the National Health Center Immigration Workgroup to help inform state PCAs and community health centers about immigrant issues. Through this workgroup, we hope to align the health center voice on immigrant issues, in particular public charge, while also providing a platform for information and resource sharing. We are also using this workgroup to help complement the efforts of the Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) Campaign, a coalition led by our immigrant and anti-poverty partners to advance nationwide advocacy efforts against the public charge rule, and the experts on this issue.
In response to the proposed public charge rules, NHCIW has hosted webinars and trainings to help inform other state PCAs and health centers regarding the rule. If you are interested in learning more, or joining the National Health Center Immigration Workgroup, please complete the registration form here.
CPCA collaborated with AAPHCO and NACHC to release a media statement opposing the proposed public charge rule, encouraging others to make their voice heard and submit public comments against the rule. We’ve also drafted media materials to help inform community members of the proposed changes while also sharing the estimated financial impact to health centers if patients disenroll from Medi-Cal for fear of being deported.
Submitted Comment Letters Against Public Charge and in Support of the Flores Settlement Case
CPCA has worked to submit public comments against regulations that harm our patients and communities, especially if the proposed rules would increase barriers to health care or healthcare issues. For this reason CPCA submitted comment letters against the public charge rule and the proposed changes to the Flores Settlement Case. CPCA also drafted template letters to help encourage our members to submit comment letters as well.
Increasing YOUR Advocacy against the Public Charge Rule
Submit Public Comments & Encourage Others to do the same
The proposed rule has been officially published in the Federal Register, and there is a 60-day opportunity to submit public comments, ending December 10th. It is our hope to have a massive number of public comments submitted to USCIS to encourage the Administration to reconsider its proposal, and perhaps avoid the release of the rule all together. To be successful in this endeavor, it is CRUCIAL that we not only have individuals and health centers submitting public comments, but that we also encourage state entities and representatives to do the same, since they could help provide economic impact analysis that could derail the implementation of the rules.
Use CPCA’s Immigration Resource Page to Submit YOUR Comments
CPCA has worked in partnership with the PIF Funded Coalition to create a comment portal for the public charge rules. This portal will provide you with the opportunity to choose from a multitude of template letters to use in preparing and submitting your comments. You can choose to submit your comments through a prepopulated portal, or for those looking to attach studies and submit more lengthy comments, you can download a template and submit it to the Federal Register. You can access the California Public Charge Comment Portal by going to CPCA’s Immigration Resource Page or by clicking HERE. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Liz Oseguera at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Charge Advocacy Toolkit
Need help with your advocacy plan? CPCA worked with immigrant partners in California to create the Public Charge Advocacy toolkit that includes community facing materials in 9 different languages (10 if you include English), talking points, FAQs, social media toolkit, template letter guide, and much more.