July 2019 Policy Updates

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In late May, the Department of Health and Human Services announced major proposed changes to regulations protecting AAPI communities from discrimination in health care. The proposed changes directly impact limited English proficient individuals and their ability to access language services. The proposal would (1) eliminate translated legal rights and notices in common non-English languages, (2) discourage language access plans, and (3) limit the number and types of health programs covered by the HCRL. It would also remove protections against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and termination of pregnancy.

These proposed changes are dangerous for our communities - if finalized, many AAPIs and other limited English proficient communities will not know their rights and will be more likely to experience discrimination and barriers to health care.

The most important thing you can do is join OCA's comment campaign! Find more information and submit a public comment by Friday, August 9 at our submission form here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfJ8NPHVab9FYXmxg_Jd14IrOhydKCjGM9pxIy1w1Pzn1QBoQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

Please pass this along to your chapters, family, and community members. If you have any questions, please reach out to OCA's Policy and Advocacy Associate Maddie Schumacher at maddie.schumacher@ocanational.org

July 2019 Policy Updates

  • Through successful litigation by OCA partner organizations, the citizenship question has been dropped from 2020 census forms; OCA released statement.

  • OCA officially endorsed Rep. Judy Chu's Reuniting Families Act, which amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to

    • recapture unused employment-based and family-sponsored visas from FY1992-FY2016;

    • reclassify spouses, permanent partners (defined to include LGBT families), minor children, and stepchildren of permanent residents as immediate relatives;

    • repeal the per-country immigration limits;

    • repeal specified bars to reentry and allow waivers of inadmissibility to promote family unity;

    • exempt children of naturalized Filipino veterans from immigration limitations; and

    • allow relatives of a deceased alien to maintain visa eligibility.

  • OCA National Board forms an exploratory committee into Chinese American Racial Profiling, headed by Executive Director Rita Pin Ahrens.

  • OCA signed onto a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee opposing the "Secure and Protect Act of 2019". The Secure and Protect Act would do the following:

    • eliminate screenings that determine whether children are victims of trafficking,

    • creates a statutory prohibition on asylum application for nationals of certain countries, including Thailand, Jordan, Turkey, Russia, and nationals from any neighboring country, and

    • interferes on states' rights to set their own state court jurisdiction.

  • OCA signed onto a joint petition asking for a “Pause and Study” on proposed changes to the Lifeline program. The proposed changes include:

    • a the phase-down in support for voice services (which is still relied upon by upwards of 40 percent of current Lifeline subscribers) and

    • an unanticipated five-fold increase in the minimum required broadband data usage allowance (having a significant impact on eligible low-income consumers’ ability to access and afford Lifeline broadband plans).