[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) today issued the following statement after an exchange with Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, about the Administration’s flawed public charge rule, during an all-member briefing on COVID-19 developments. Cuccinelli told Jayapal that the rule does not apply during the COVID-19 outbreak—and committed to explicitly stating so publicly.
“This morning, I asked Dr. Tony Fauci to respond from a public health perspective about the negative effects of the Trump Administration’s ‘public charge’ rule. Before he could answer, Ken Cuccinelli interjected and outlined public health exemptions included in the rule. A list of exemptions buried in a deeply flawed rule, combined with the Trump Administration’s inflammatory rhetoric, is unfortunately insufficient to allay the very real fears across immigrant communities. Cuccinelli committed to me—in front of members of Congress at an all-members briefing this morning—that he would put out a statement on DHS’s website clarifying and explicitly stating that the public charge rule does not apply during this COVID-19 outbreak,” said Jayapal. “This rule imposes a wealth test on the American Dream and makes immigrants afraid of seeking medical care, which is downright dangerous during a public emergency. Coronavirus does not discriminate based on race, gender, or creed—and the Administration must reassure immigrant communities around the country. A rule that scares away some from seeking care is a public health risk for all of us.”
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Issues: Health Care