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Fearing deportation, immigrants are dropping Medicaid over misinformation about Trump’s new policy

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When she came to Texas from India in 2015 after marrying a U.S. citizen in her home country, the 41-year-old woman said, she spoke little English and had no knowledge of life in America. Within a week, she said, her new husband began calling her names, beating her, and installing cameras and sensors in their home to monitor her movements.

The woman, who requested anonymity because she fears being found by her husband, said she endured the abuse for two years before she got help from attorney Pooja Sethi and a neighbor and was able to escape with her U.S.-born daughter. She found a job and a place to live in Austin, applied for a permanent green card and went to court to get full custody of her daughter, who she said vomits often and needs regular medical attention.

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But after hearing about a new federal immigration policy scheduled to take effect next month, the woman said she considered returning to her husband out of fear that she could be deported if she used Medicaid to get health care for her 2-year-old.

“If I don’t have insurance, how will I take care of my daughter?” the woman said.

The rule, which faces at least six legal challenges nationwide, will allow federal officials to deny visa or permanent residency applications from immigrants who they believe could become “public charge,” or people primarily dependent on government aid, based on their income or prior use of government benefits such as Medicaid and food assistance.

Since 1882, the U.S. government has had a vague public charge rule requiring foreign nationals to be “self sufficient” before they are allowed into the country, but in practice it was only invoked for applicants whose entire income came from government cash assistance or those who needed extensive medical care at the government’s expense.

The new policy, published by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in August and scheduled to take effect Oct. 15, adds health care, food stamps, cash assistance and public housing programs to the list of public benefits that, if used to some extent, could count against immigrants who apply for visas or permanent residency after the changes take effect. It also increases the income requirement for applicants to 250% of the federal poverty level.

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French hospital halts trials of Trump-promoted COVID-19 drug due to worries about heart failure

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President Donald Trump's promotion of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 has drawn criticism from medical experts who say much more work needs to be done before anyone can say it's effective at stopping the disease.

And now one hospital in France has stopped its testing of hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19 patients over worries that the drug poses a "toxic risk" to people's hearts when taken in combination with other drugs.

French newspaper Nice Matin reports that Nice University Hospital "immediately stopped" its use of hydroxychloroquine in patients who exhibit "major risks" of suffering heart failure due to the drug.

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Economist who hoped for ‘V-shaped’ recovery now predicting a prolonged downturn even worse than the Great Recession

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Tim Bartik is among the economists who has described the type of “V-shaped” economic recovery he would like to see in the United States following the coronavirus pandemic. Ideally, Bartik has asserted, all the businesses that have been shut down by the pandemic would reopen quickly when it’s safe to do so and put millions of Americans back to work. But journalist Andy Balaskovitz, in an article published in MiBiz on April 8, explains why Bartik (a senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo, Michigan) now believes that predictions of a “V-shaped recovery” are wishful thinking — and why Americans are in for a lot of economic pain in the months ahead.

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‘Recipe for disaster’: Officials in Florida city say they face ‘unimaginable’ potential death from COVID-19

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Officials in the Florida city of Hialeah are warning that they are uniquely vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic and face the possibility of "unimaginable" death from the disease.

In interviews with The Daily Beast, the officials explained how their large population of senior citizens is at grave risk if Hialeah erupts as a major COVID-19 hotspot.

"I think it is going to get a lot worse," Hialeah Councilman Jesus Tundidor tells The Daily Beast. “The experts have been telling us to expect a peak [in Florida] near the end of the month. As we get more testing sites up and running, the more positive cases we will see. And that will create more fear."

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