Dear Policy Watchers:
The call today is an official Public Policy Committee call. Members of the committee will review NACDD criteria for signing on to amicus briefs and vote whether to sign on to the disability community's brief regarding the public charge rule. Members of the NACDD network are invited to listen in and there will be a brief opportunity for public comment at the end of official business.
The call in number is (800) 832-0736 passcode 6261788.
Please email me or Kristin Britton, Chair, NACDD Policy Committee, if you have any questions about today’s call.
Director, Public Policy
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
1825 K Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20006
202.506.5813 Ext. 104 (Phone) | 202.506.5846 (Fax)
FYI below (on behalf of Erin Prangley)
Dear Policy Committee,
NACDD has been asked to sign on to an amicus brief challenging the Department of Homeland Security's final "public charge" rule. If the courts do not intervene, immigrants with disabilities and their families will be subject to the new rule in October 2019. That's why we have to work fast. The lawyers have set a deadline for our sign-on for this Friday.
Please join our Policy Committee call on Friday, August 30, 1pm-1:30pm.
Issue: Whether NACDD should sign on to an amicus brief arguing that people with disabilities will be disproportionately harmed by the public charge rule and therefore the rule should be invalid as a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Rule: The public charge rule prohibits people from entering the United States (getting a visa) or becoming a permanent resident (getting a green card) if the DHS determines they are unlikely to be "self-sufficient" and may rely on public benefits. Many changes in the new rule will have a hugely negative impact on people with disabilities, in effect combining to keep people with disabilities out of this country. These include adding Medicaid – including Home and Community Based Services – to the benefits considered, weighing heavily against a person having a health condition that is “likely to require extensive treatment, institutionalization or interfere with the ability to care for self, attend school or work,” having the absence of a medical condition weigh as a “positive factor,” and weighing as a heavy negative the inability for private insurance to fully cover a medical condition. NACDD commented on the proposed rule individually and through CCD.
Analysis: In the last week, numerous lawsuits have been filed challenging the public charge rule as illegal. The goal is to stop, or at least delay, the rule before its effective date on October 15th. Alison Barkoff (CPR) and Jennifer Mathis (Bazelon) have been in touch with litigation teams and the team coordinating amicus briefs. So far two lawsuits -- the one filed by the California Attorney General (together with ME, OR, PA and DC) and by the New York Attorney General (together with VT and CT) -- directly include Section 504 claims (through the Administrative Procedure Act), and one more (the filed by the Washington Attorney General, together with 11 other states) references Section 504. Those legal teams are interested in an amicus brief from the disability community supporting their litigation. The brief will heavily rely on the comments submitted by our community, including those by CCD, ACLU and CPR.
Groups who have already replied they are interested in joining (and need to send org statements):
American Association of People with Disabilities
American Civil Liberties Union
Association of University Centers on Disabilities
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Center for Public Representation
Disability Rights Advocates
National Council on Independent Living
The Arc of the United States
Conclusion: I recommend that NACDD sign on the the amicus brief because it is consistent with our public policy principles ("protect against forms of discrimination based on disability, ethnicity, race ... national origin ... or any other protected status") and strategic plan (NACDD is an advocate "that upholds and advances the rights of people with DD."). The brief is being written by respected coalition partners and is based on solid legal principles. Our membership is very interested in this issue. Several of our coalition partners, including AUCD have already signed on.
Please let me know as soon as possible if you are not available for the call.