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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

OUTRAGE OF THE DAY: HHS IGNORS CONGRESS AND KEEPS HIV ON LIST OF DISEASES

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Despite the fact that Congress has now repealed the specific statutory exclusion of HIV-positive individuals from the US, the default rule allowing the US Department of Health and Human Services to come up with its own list of diseases mandating inadmissibility still has HIV on it. I was shocked to see this morning that HHS has chosen to ignore the loud message Congress sent and that they intend to keep HIV on the list of conditions rendering a person inadmissible.



There is a waiver available, but it only applies to people who are the spouse, unmarried son or daughter or minor child of a US citizen or permanent resident. Parents of US citizens or permanent residents are also permitted under certain circumstances.



Unfortunately, the one group that is not covered here are people in same sex marriages and civil unions who are a large percentage of the people who need the waiver the most. The Defense of Marriage Act, a terrible relic of the 1990s, prevents federal agencies from recognizing same sex unions.



One of my favorite political commentators, the Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan, writes very personally about how the ban is affecting him.




This is really unjust and I hope the next President quickly orders HHS to fix this immediately.



[Update: Here is the advance copy of the rule. One of the comments questioned the veracity of my post. You can see the statement on page 20 of the document stating:

The current definition in 42 CFR 34.2(b) includes chancroid, gonorrhea, granuloma inguinale, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, infectious leprosy,
lymphogranuloma venereum, infectious-stage syphilis, and active tuberculosis.

The notice only adds to the list and explicitly keeps HIV on.]




HIV remains on HHS list of communicable diseases - Free Legal Forms

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Comments

  1. 's Avatar
    Wrong. Read the September 29 DHS press release on the subject.
  2. yave begnet's Avatar
    The availability of the waiver doesn't do you much good if you can't afford private health insurance, or if you fall into the group of working poor who won't qualify for ADAP but also can't afford the kind of premiums you'd pay with a pre-existing condition like HIV.

    Hmm, how to headline this: "Immigrants get shorted again" ... it's the dog bites man kind of story editors hate to print.
  3. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Uh, the 9/29 press release discusses only one of the two rules released. Read the document I posted.
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