Local health groups rally to oppose federal policy denying visas to immigrants who would rely on public assistance

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The White House announced in August that immigration officials will deny visas and permanent residence to immigrants who likely cannot afford their own health care or will rely on public assistance.

The policy was supposed to go into effect Tuesday, but several courts have blocked it.

During a news conference in East Bakersfield, several people representing hospitals and clinics said they want to protect access to health care and are happy the rule was blocked.

Dignity Health manager Edgar Aguilar says a lot of the rhetoric around the public charge rule does not factor in that many hardworking immigrants simply do not make a lot of money, but still need to care for their families.

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