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AIDS United Denounces Decision to Allow “Public Charge” Rule into Effect

CONTACT: Helen Parshall | 202-876-2823

WASHINGTON — AIDS United denounces the Supreme Court's decision to remove the stay on the "public charge" rule, allowing it to begin to be enacted in most of the U.S. Monday’s 5-4 ruling allows the restrictions on immigration to be enforced in states except Illinois, which is still covered by a statewide injunction.

The “public charge” rule greatly increases roadblocks to an immigrant’s chances of obtaining U.S. citizenship, and it has the potential to become a de facto ban on all immigrants living with HIV and other chronic health conditions from becoming citizens.

Under the rule, the types of public programs that, if used, could harm an individual’s ability to achieve citizenship are greatly expanded. The rule also allows U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to deem an immigrant “inadmissible on a health-related ground” for a variety of illnesses that often impact people living with and affected by HIV.

On Oct. 4, 2019, the Trump administration quietly released a proclamation mandating the denial of visas to all immigrants seeking to enter the U.S. if they are unable to prove their ability to readily obtain health insurance or pay for the full cost of their health care. When combined with the “public charge” rule that came before it, they serve as an almost insurmountable roadblock for any immigrant living with HIV seeking to live in the U.S.

Today’s decision is the latest in a series of attacks on immigrants in the United States, and it poses a direct threat to the health of millions of immigrants – especially LGBTQ people, people living with HIV, people of color, women, youth and those with multiple marginalized identities. Even before the “public charge” rule was finalized last year, we have seen a disturbing pattern of unease among immigrants to the United States, with one study showing that one in seven adults in immigrant families have dropped out of public welfare programs in 2018 due to fear of deportation.

AIDS United stands with our allies in opposition to this decision. If we are to end the domestic HIV epidemic by 2030, our government and courts must eliminate barriers to care for every person in the U.S. living with and affected by HIV.

AIDS United’s mission is to end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. through strategic grant-making, capacity building and policy. AIDS United works to ensure access to life-saving HIV care and prevention services and to advance sound HIV-related policy for U.S. populations and communities most impacted by the epidemic. To date, our strategic grant-making initiatives have directly funded more than $104 million to local communities and have leveraged more than $117 million in additional investments for programs that include, but are not limited to HIV prevention, access to care, capacity building, harm reduction and advocacy. Learn more at


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