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September 23, 2009

U.S. Closer to Lifting HIV Travel and Immigration Ban This Year

According to a memo by the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (CIS), the HIV travel and immigration ban might be lifted this year, The Advocate reports. Current regulations state that noncitizens living with HIV cannot visit the United States unless they have a waiver, and that positive immigrants are denied entry.

According to the article, the CIS memo directed officers to hold off on any green card denials that are based solely on HIV status. The reason it gave was that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) might lift the HIV restriction this year.

Congress decided to lift the ban last summer but was unable to put it into action before the Bush administration left office. By the time HHS tried to lift it in late June, the proposal had expired.

“HHS is reviewing those comments, and the administration has said that they expect the entire repeal process to be completed by the end of the calendar year,” said Steve Ralls, communications director at Immigration Equality, a national advocacy organization focused on LGBT and HIV-related discrimination in U.S. immigration laws. “This memo indicates that they’re approaching the finish line in that process.”

Search: travel ban, Health and Human Services, HHS, Customs and Immigration Service, Immigration Equality

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