Monday, November 2, 2009

President Obama announced the official end of the HIV Travel and Immigration Ban

Dear Coloradans For Immigrant Rights!
Today, President Obama announced the end of the discriminatory US HIV Travel Ban.
Starting in 2010, people living with HIV will no longer be barred from entering the United States — no longer turned away at our borders, no longer forced to hide their condition and interrupt medical treatment, no longer treated by our government with contempt.
Said President Obama today:
Twenty-two years ago, in a decision rooted in fear rather than fact, the United States instituted a travel ban on entry into the country for people living with HIV/AIDS. Now, we talk about reducing the stigma of this disease — yet we've treated a visitor living with it as a threat. We lead the world when it comes to helping stem the AIDS pandemic — yet we are one of only a dozen countries that still bar people from HIV from entering our own country. If we want to be the global leader in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to act like it. And that's why, on Monday my administration will publish a final rule that eliminates the travel ban effective just after the New Year.
PHR has been at the forefront of the movement to end the HIV travel ban. Thousands of you wrote moving comments to the Centers for Disease Control, urging them to end the ban.
Today, your persistence and passion paid off. Comments like this one, from a PHR member in Boston, made a difference:
In my roles with an international NGO, a US university recognized world-wide, and one of the top 10 US teaching-hospitals, I work with people around the world who are fighting HIV/AIDS daily. Many of these brave and selfless health care workers are themselves infected with HIV — but that should in no way limit their ability to visit the US and learn from others working in this field.
We can’t thank you enough for taking action to protect the health, dignity and human rights of people living with AIDS worldwide. We are celebrating here in Cambridge — we hope you will also take a moment to celebrate and to recognize the fact that your advocacy to uplift human rights made this day possible.
In solidarity and celebration,
The staff of Physicians for Human Rights

1 comment:

Myke said...

This is a great step forward in equality, freedom and opportunity. However, I might inform you that in a recent request for our family, the immigration officer conveniently at the last minute, decided to keep our son from immigrating saying that "we do not make enough money and he is likely to become a public charge." They denied his visa. Even though we make almost 3 times the poverty level and have good solid jobs, this option allows the immigration officer to keep our son from coming. In the future, of course, the immigration officer will not know, but since our request for immigration was before the passing of these laws, and since the immigration officer knows about our son's HIV, he can still disallow the visa. Very disheartening for his mother and I who are stuck here, while (now 19 year old son) is stuck in China.