Supporting Organizations: African Services Committee, NYC, NY, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance AFL-CIO, Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, CASA, Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families & Communities, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Children's Defense Fund, Church World Services, Coalition for Humane Immigration Rights (CHIRLA), Colorado Children's Campaign, Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy and Research Organization (CLLARO), Committee for Hispanic Children and Families (CHCF), Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI), Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), Doctors for Camp Closure, Families USA, Farmworker Justice, Immigration Hub, Indivisible, Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology, Moms Rising, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), NALEO Educational Fund, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF), National Council of Jewish Women, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Immigration Law Center, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, New York Immigration Coalition, OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, POWER-PAC Illinois, Prevention Institute, RESULTS, SEIU, Shriver Center on Poverty Law, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Welcome Project, Training Occupational Development Educating Communities Legal Center, Treatment Action Group, UndocuBlack Network, UnidosUS, United We Dream
March 20, 2020
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- Today, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Rep. TJ Cox (CA-21) and more than 50 House colleagues in urging Congressional leaders to prioritize critically-needed language to allow for everyone in the U.S. to be tested for COVID-19 without any repercussions, including immigrants deterred by the "public charge" rule.
The letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy urges them to continue to prioritize funding and resources for our nation’s immigrant population. The “public charge” rule is a deterrent for symptomatic individuals to seek medical testing and treatment. Individuals infected with coronavirus who are left untested and untreated will be contagious agents of the disease in different communities, potentially furthering the spread of coronavirus in the United States.
“I am proud to represent the Central Valley and the many immigrant families from diverse backgrounds who call it home in Congress. Every day, the hard-working women and men of the Central Valley contribute to our local and national economy while providing for their children and families,” said Rep. Cox “Regardless of their citizenship status, every person in the U.S. should have access to testing and treatment of COVID-19. By excluding them and their loved ones, it is a health risk to everyone in the Central Valley and throughout the country.”
“We are in the midst of a pandemic that does not discriminate on a basis of wealth, race, or status. Every person living in our country must have access to testing and care to protect their families and communities. No one should fear that years from now this access to life saving, community protecting healthcare will be held against them,” said Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice. “We are judged by how we treat the most vulnerable, and this crisis is an opportunity for our better angels to prevail. We must immediately end all enforcement of any “public charge” regulations. All people contribute to our society and must have access to the benefits without penalty or stigma! This is the common good.”
"Today's global health crisis highlights what we have long known: none of us can truly be safe and healthy unless all of us are safe and healthy. We support this effort to ensure that all have access to treatment and care for COVID-19, and are able to use it without fear of immigration consequences," said Olivia Golden, CLASP's Executive Director.
“In this time of uncertainty with a global pandemic disrupting our society in ways we never imagined, the response of the federal government is critical for the most vulnerable among us. We proudly stand with U.S. Rep. T.J. Cox in calling on both chambers of Congress to prioritize funding and resources for our nation’s immigrant population,” said Arturo Vargas, Chief Executive Officer at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund. “Like all members of our society, immigrants should not be afraid to seek emergency healthcare services during this crisis. Failure to act could potentially leave more communities at greater risk of infection.”
"COVID-19 presents a threat to communities across the nation, disrupting our workplaces, our social services, and our day-to-day lives. Combating the virus requires us to prioritize public health, and to reassure communities across America that their well-being is of utmost importance," said Rev. John L. McCullough, president and CEO of Church World Service. "Congressman Cox recognizes the importance of providing testing and critical funding for the nation’s immigrant population, understanding that their health is just as integral to getting through this pandemic, as any in the United States. Emergency response measures must ensure that all persons are able to receive free COVID-19 testing and that none are left out of any new provisions for care and treatment. Neglecting some communities will increase the risk of all communities. We must stand united in the interest of all."
Rep. Cox’s cosigners to this letter include Reps. Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Sean Casten (IL-6), Gerrry Connolly (VA-11), Judy Chu (CA-27), David Cicilline (RI-1), Jim Costa (CA-16), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Bill Foster (IL-11), Jesús García (IL-4), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Deb Haaland (NM-1), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Jahana Hayes (CT-5), John Larson (CT-1), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Tom Malinowski (NJ-7), Betty McCollum (MN-4), Grace Meng (NY-6), Jim McGovern (MA-3), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Mark Pocan (WI-2), Ayanna Pressley (MA-7), David Price (NC-4), Mike Quigley (IL-5), Jamie Raskin (MD-8), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Michael San Nicolas (GU-AL), Donna Shalala (FL-27), Albio Sires (NJ-8), Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (MP-AL), Adam Smith (WA-9), Darren Soto (FL-9), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Norma Torres (CA-35), David Trone (MD-6), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Nydia Velázquez (NY-7), Anthony Brown (MD-4), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Rosa Delauro (CT-3), Pramila Jayapal (WA-7), Hank Johnson (GA-4), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), and Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03).
A copy of the letter is available here.