From the Desk of KIAC’s Executive Director

Dear Friends of KIAC,

The words by Dr. Farmer in our quote of the month, “We want to be on the winning team, but at the risk of turning our backs on the losers, no, it is not worth it. So we fight the long defeat,” resonate with us at KIAC and with the work we do each day towards equity and justice for our immigrant neighbors. We are very concerned about the negative impact of the potential pending repeal of Roe v Wade, leading to state criminalization of abortion which can transform healthcare into a prison pipeline. Such an outcome would disproportionately affect women of color, thereby heavily impacting immigrants.  

The war in Ukraine rages on while there is a shaky, two month ceasefire for the war in Yemen. Although the individual circumstances and politics that have led to these moments are different, a common theme runs through many of these situations — the prevalence of misinformation. We at KIAC want to do our part in helping our readers (You) understand the more complex immigration topics that we hear about everyday. In this May Touchpoint, Althea Paulson, KIAC Board member and Pro Bono Attorney, will help us understand Title 42.  

On April 1, the CDC announced it was rescinding its determination under Title 42, effective May 23. Title 42 is a little-used 1944 public health law allowing the expulsion of migrants trying to enter the US if the CDC finds that there is a public health risk due to communicable disease. The Trump administration invoked this law during the COVID pandemic. As of March 2022, there had been 1.8 million expulsions under Title 42. People must stay in squalid and dangerous camps on the border and wait to try again to enter the US. In fact, up to 25% of the reported expulsion numbers include repeat crossers.  

When the CDC announced the change in policy, over 20 Republican-led states sued to prevent the rescission. Last week, a federal judge in Louisiana granted a restraining order to allow time for the parties to make their arguments in court. For now, people at the border continue to wait in dangerous and exhausting limbo. 

While unrest and turmoil persist around the globe, in April:

  • KIAC individually and jointly submitted a letter to the Health Benefit Exchange to support the 1332 Waiver Application, which will ask the Federal government to increase access to health care coverage to all residents — regardless of immigration status. This will make significant progress toward meeting the basic health care needs of all Washingtonians, leading to healthier communities and a stronger economy. 
  • KIAC piloted a Saturday medical clinic, to provide a more accessible option for our clients. It was well attended, and we will continue to have one Saturday option in our monthly clinic rotation which includes the regular Health and Dental clinics.

We experienced a record-breaking Kitsap Great Give on April 19 — with over $95,000 donated to KIAC! I am incredibly grateful for your generous support of our work. We are honored to stand with you, our donors, volunteers and community partners, to continue to fight the long defeat.

In gratitude,

Thangam Chandrasekaran, Executive Director