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While President Trump’s public charge rule has been struck down many times in courts, it has still led some people without immigration status to avoid using welfare benefits and even medical care. Undocumented people have also avoided medical care to avoid being detected and possibly deported. Doctors and health officials say this extends to pregnant undocumented women, who are afraid of seeking prenatal care. The public charge rule would jeopardize an immigrant’s chances of getting a visa or achieving citizenship if they are determined to rely on public benefits. The New York Times
In other national immigration news…
Detained Children Allegedly Denied Coronavirus Protections
Border Patrol agents are holding about 65 immigrant children at the Weslaco station in South Texas in potentially dangerous conditions. Immigration lawyers said the children can’t social distance or access to soap or hand sanitizer; A 15-year-old boy told a lawyer that he waits in a line, with no social distancing, to take a five-minute shower every day. U.S. Customs and Border Protection claims Weslaco was designed to hold children who cross the border with or without parents, but wouldn’t say if it was denying those children soap and masks. Associated Press
Advocacy Groups Say Farmworkers Should Receive COVID-19 Vaccine First
A group of 11 advocacy organizations believe that California farmworkers, who have continued to grow and harvest fruits and vegetables in crowded fields during the pandemic, should be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. Many farmworkers distrust the healthcare system, so the organizations also want state officials to work with community organizations, health promoters, labor groups and faith communities to create a public health campaign to inform workers about the vaccine. More than 15,700 agricultural workers throughout the country have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Sept. 19. Desert Sun
Congressmembers Want to Stop Deportation of Gynecologist Whistleblowers
Thirty U.S. Senators and 75 congressmembers have demanded a hold on deportations of women who alleged abuse from Dr. Mahendra Amin, a gynecologist who worked with ICE at Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia. The congressmembers petitioned the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday to prevent any deportations. At least six of the 43 women who spoke out against Amin were already deported, and seven are on the list to be deported, officials said. The women’s lawyers say the deportations are a “pattern of intimidation” aimed at forcing them to remain silent. The Guardian
U.S. Citizens Detained After Soleimani Killing
Customs and Border Protections officials detained about 80 U.S. citizens with ties to Iran for questioning at border crossings in the days after the killing of Iranian military leader, Qassem Soleimani, recently released emails reveal. The Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project obtained the emails, which show CBP’s Seattle office instructed officers to refer to all travelers from “areas of national concern” for additional inspections. The weekend after U.S. forces killed Soleimani, numerous U.S. citizens who traveled through the Blaine, Washington, port of entry from Canada, were stopped for hours for questioning. Politico
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