Changes to Public Charge Could Put Health and Immigration Status at Risk for Millions
WASHINGTON (September 24, 2018) – On September 22, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced it would issue a proposed regulation that would severely curtail the ability of immigrants to secure a green card by expanding the definition of “public charge” to include individuals who access non-cash safety-net programs such as health insurance, nutrition programs and low-income housing. Green card applicants who are deemed a public charge can be denied permanent residency. The proposed rule will be published in the coming days by the Department of Homeland Security and will not only have a detrimental effect on individuals seeking green cards, but also their children.
We are concerned that the proposed rule change will have far reaching consequences and discourage immigrants and their families from participating in public programs such as some forms of Medicaid, Medicare Part D, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and housing assistance, even if they are eligible, by threatening their immigration status if they use such programs. These changes are meant to punish immigrants whom the Trump Administration believes are not deserving to stay in the United States.
Advancement Project national office, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith In Action, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Race Forward and UnidosUS are a collaborative of nine leading national racial equity anchor organizations supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing and ensure that all children, families and communities have genuine opportunities to reach their full potential.