AAPCHO Applauds Introduction of the Protect American Values Act

September 17, 2019
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WASHINGTON – The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) today applauded the introduction of the Protect American Values Act. The legislation, introduced by Senator Mazie Hirono (HI) and 26 Democratic senators, would prohibit the Department of Homeland Security from using federal funds to implement its Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds final rule.

The Department of Homeland Security’s final rule will significantly expand benefits programs that can be used to deny an immigrant entry into the United States or prevent an immigrant from obtaining a green card. The Protect American Values Act would protect immigrant families regardless of immigration or citizenship status from separating or forgoing needed medical care or disenrolling from essential programs, including Medicaid, SNAP, and public housing. Even prior to the issuance of the final rule, 1 in 7 adults in immigrant families avoided using public benefits due to the “chilling effect” caused by the fear and confusion surrounding the regulation change. The rule also poses a significant harmful impact on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs): 1.4 million AAPIs are in families that use Medicaid, and 31% of the 1.1 million people getting green cards each year are from Asia and Pacific Island Nations. Without Congressional or judicial intervention, the final rule will go into effect on October 15, 2019.

AAPCHO calls on the Congress to quickly pass the Protect American Values Act, and companion legislation in the House of Representatives, H.R. 3222, No Federal Funds for Public Charge Act. We are committed to continue working with our members and partners to push for meaningful policy change to keep immigrant families together and protect the overall health, safety, and well-being of all families.

The Protect American Values Act is cosponsored by Senators Baldwin (WI), Bennet (CO), Blumenthal (CT), Booker (NJ), Brown (OH), Cardin (MD), Casey (PA), Coons (DE), Cortez Masto (NV), Duckworth (IL), Durbin (IL), Feinstein (CA), Gillibrand (NY), Harris (CA), Heinrich (NM), Kaine (VA), Klobuchar (MN), Markey (MA), Menendez (NJ), Murray (WA), Reed (RI), Sanders (VT), Udall (NM), Van Hollen (MD), Warren (MA), and Wyden (OR). For more information and resources related to public charge, visit


AAPCHO is a national association of community health organizations dedicated to promoting advocacy, collaboration and leadership that improves the health status and access of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in the United States. For more information on AAPCHO, please visit


Kristine Cecile Alarcon, MPH, (510) 671-5054,

Media Relations

Beverly Quintana
(510) 272-9536 x112

Kristine Cecile Alarcon
(510) 671-5054

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