AHF Alarmed at Reports of Border Patrol Separating Families Based on HIV Status
WASHINGTON (July 26, 2019) AHF today decried statements from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) that it is using HIV status as a basis to separate families attempting to enter the U.S. at its southern border. According to the Washington Blade, CBP chief of law enforcement operations Brian Hastings said at a July 25 U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearing in an exchange with U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) that the CBP is using HIV as a rationale to separate families.
However, since January 4, 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that HIV isn’t a communicable disease of public health significance.
AHF calls on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, who oversees CBP, to clarify the department’s own policy which states that “ … having HIV infection will no longer make a foreign national inadmissible to the United States.”
“HIV stigma is deadly,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AHF. “Separating children from their families is outrageous enough. But to use HIV as a basis for separation further stigmatizes and traumatizes people living with HIV who need to stay in care and get access to life-saving medicines. We call on the US government to immediately halt family separations based on HIV status.”