FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHOENIX — In a must read op-ed in The Arizona Republic, Arizona Public Health Association Executive Director Will Humble admonishes Congress for endangering everyone’s health by leaving millions of immigrants out of access to COVID-19 testing and treatment and urges the Senate to fix this omission in the upcoming COVID-related stimulus package.
As the expert notes, “The COVID relief bills passed through Congress so far were necessary to help our communities battle the pandemic, but they don’t cover all of us. In Arizona, there are 1,600 Temporary Protected Status holders and 25,500 DACA recipients that might be left out of COVID-related care. More than 460,000 families in Arizona with a mix of immigration status might also be impacted by these failures. Not only is this cruel, but it is detrimental to the public health and future of our state and country. One thing is clear: to protect everyone’s health, there needs to be clarity that everyone has access to testing and treatment — regardless of immigration status. Without that, we’re failing every single person in the country and putting all of our health at risk.”
According to Alessandra Navidad, executive director at ACLU of Arizona, “This pandemic affects all of us, so must our national response — our lives depend on it. Testing and treatment is critical to slowing the spread of this virus and yet, each bill that Congress has enacted has left tens of millions of people out — many of whom are essential workers and immigrants. Recently, the House passed a bill to remedy this issue. The Senate must build upon this foundation and ensure testing and treatment for everyone, regardless of immigration status, to protect the health of the country. Immigration status shouldn’t be a death sentence, but if Congress doesn’t act soon, it will continue to be.”
Read the entire op-ed online here.