Senate Moves to End HIV Travel Ban
Posted on July 22, 2008
Filed Under Gay News Blog
“Congress has finally moved to end the HIV ban – a ban based on myth and misinformation,” said Rachel B. Tiven, Executive Director of Immigration Equality. “For twenty years, the United States has barred HIV-positive travelers from entering the country even for one day. Today the Senate said loud and clear that AIDS exceptionalism must come to an end.”
HIV is the only disease excluded by Congressional fiat; all other decisions on communicable diseases are left to the discretion of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The repeal provision in the PEPFAR bill will remove the anti-HIV language from the Immigration and Nationality Act, and restore the determination of whether HIV is “communicable disease of public health significance,” to the discretion of HHS.
Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) led the effort to repeal the HIV ban. Said Senator Kerry, “Today we are one step closer to ending a discriminatory practice that stigmatizes all those living with HIV, squanders our moral authority, and sets us back in the fight against AIDS. By passing PEPFAR today the Senate not only has made a powerful statement about our commitment to eradicating HIV/AIDS but we have also voted to overturn the HIV travel and immigration ban that has no foundation in public health or common sense. There was no reason for this policy to still be on the books, and I am proud to have been part of eliminating this draconian ban. I sincerely hope we can get this to the President as quickly as possible to finally end this misguided policy.”
“When the United States finally stops discriminating against HIV-positive people we will send a powerful signal to the world that it’s not acceptable to stigmatize the millions of people living with this disease,” said Rachel Tiven. “With today’s news, we feel that moment is almost here.”
Immigration Equality, the national voice for LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants and their families, provides legal advice, representation, and advocacy for those impacted by the discriminatory impact of the HIV ban. Lesbian and gay immigrants are disproportionately affected by the ban because their families cannot qualify for a limited waiver to the HIV ban that heterosexual couples enjoy.
About the Ban
The policy disproportionately affect LGBT individuals since close family relationships with U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents are generally required to seek waivers and same-sex relationships are not recognized under current immigration law.
This posting was automatically generated from a feed from Gay News Blog Read more….Senate Approves Repeal of HIV Travel and Immigration Ban
Senate Approves Repeal of HIV Travel and Immigration Ban
Take Action: Legislation to repeal the HIV Travel Ban is being considered in the Senate right now!
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