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Immigrant Health

APHA believes a strong public health system is dependent on just and equitable practices that promote community health. We have weighed in on issues related to immigrant health, including:

  • Organization comments to U.S. Department of Homeland Security on updating the public charge rule to protect immigrant communities' use of social safety net programs like Medicaid and housing programs
  • APHA's statement applauding President Biden's actions to reunify families separated at the U.S./Mexico border, rescind public charge rule
  • APHA’s statement opposing the administration’s finalized public charge rule
  • Public health brief (PDF) filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York highlighting the negative public health impacts of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's final rule, "Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds" (PDF)
  • APHA’s policy statement opposing separating immigrant and refugee families at U.S. borders
  • Organization letter supporting H.R. 3451 (PDF), the Humane Enforcement and Legal Protections for Separated Children Act and H.R. 3452, the Help Separated Families Act
  • APHA’s comments (PDF) opposing the U.S. Department of Housing and Development's proposed rule, "Verification of Eligible Status," which would restrict or eliminate access to public and other subsidized housing for mixed-status immigrant families that have members who are undocumented or otherwise ineligible for housing assistance
  • Health organization brief (PDF) filed in the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Department of Homeland Security vs. Regents of the University of California challenging the administration's decision to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program


As an organization committed to strengthening the nation’s public health systems and achieving health equity, APHA supports policies that encourage positive health behaviors and promote access to health services, regardless of an individual’s citizenship status.

Recent U.S. immigration policies have led to substantial fears among immigrant communities that are driving people away from accessing basic health services, setting the stage for a public health crisis. Similarly, the practice of separating families at U.S. border crossings and the conditions in which they are being held is cause for great concern. These policies and practices threaten the health and well-being of millions of lawfully present immigrants and those seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.


RAICES — promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees.

Innovation Law Lab — working in immigrant detention centers and hostile judicial districts; keeping the definitive list of kids being held 

The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights— promoting the best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children

Families Belong Together — fighting for common sense immigration policies and reuniting families

Women’s Refugee Commission- advocating for the rights and protection of women, children, and youth fleeing violence and persecution

ACLU — fighting attacks through the legal system

Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) — protecting unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone to ensure that no child& appears in court without an attorney.

Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project — providing asylum seekers with legal aid and community support across the country

Human Rights First — helping refugees obtain asylum in the U.S.

Save the Children — supporting programmatic and advocacy work at U.S.-Mexico border to ensure that children are being treated with care and kindness