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Everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.
But the Trump administration’s proposed change to the Public Charge rule could penalize legal immigrants applying for green cards if they use public benefits, such as food assistance or housing, according to the National Immigration Law Center.
The government wants public comments on the proposed Public Charge changes from Oct. 10 to Dec. 10, 2018, at regulations.gov.
Here’s how you can speak up:
- Copy a model comment below, drafted by our Salud America! research team.
- Hit “Comment Now.”
- Paste the comment in the box at regulations.gov; be sure to to edit the comment by adding a personal story or tweaking the information before submitting, as exact duplicate comments will be discarded.
Model Comment: Public Charge & SNAP/WIC
I am a (ADD YOUR JOB/POSITION) and I care about (ADD WHY YOU CARE ABOUT NUTRITION FOR IMMIGRANTS/ALL PEOPLE). Research shows nutrition assistance programs, such as WIC and SNAP, are among the most effective tools for keeping children and their families healthy, especially for Latino and other minority populations, according to a research review by the Salud America! program at salud.to/saludfoods. Expanding Public Charge will hinder participation in WIC and SNAP, endangering the health of children and families. Please withdraw the proposed change. (ADD A PERSONAL STORY IF POSSIBLE).
Model Comment: Public Charge & Families
Immigrant families deserve a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible, just like all people in (ADD NAME OF MY TOWN/STATE), where I am a (ADD YOUR JOB/POSITION). Immigrant and minority populations already suffer a big lack of access to support for economic and educational success, and quality healthcare, according to a research review by the Salud America! program at salud.to/famsupport. Under the proposed changes to the Public Charge rule, immigrant parents and families could be increasingly forced to make a heartbreaking choice: keep their kids healthy and fed by enrolling them in health coverage and food assistance programs, or risk being separated from them. Data has already indicated that immigrants are exiting essential health and social programs. Please withdraw the proposed change. (ADD A PERSONAL STORY IF POSSIBLE).
Why This is Important
Public Charge has been part of federal immigration law for over 100 years.
A Public Charge test is designed to protect American taxpayers by identifying people who may depend on the government as their main source of support.
For a Public Charge test, immigration officials look at all a person’s circumstances in determining whether they are likely to become a public charge in the future, both positive and negative. This includes age, health, income, assets, resources, education/skills, family they must support, and family who will support them. If the government determines a person is likely to become a “public charge,” it can deny a person admission to the U.S. or lawful permanent residence (or “green card” status), according to the National Immigration Law Center.
The proposed change, announced in September 2018, would expand the forms of public assistance counted when making a “public charge” determination.
For example, under the proposed rules, legal immigrants who apply for Medicaid, SNAP, and public housing benefits may lose their legal status.
You can read more about it here.
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By The Numbers
immigrants live in the United States