Immigrant families shouldn’t have to choose between food, health care, and housing aid or lawful permanent status.

The Trump Administration’s change to the public charge rule would create a pay-to-play immigration system that would force immigrant families to choose between getting the social services they need or becoming lawful permanent residents, locking immigrant families into poverty as a result. The Coalition on Human Needs has teamed up with the Protecting Immigrant Families campaign to stand up against this change. We need your help to fight back!

Fight back by submitting comments! Help us get to 100,000 comments by December 10th

By commenting, either as an individual or on behalf of a group or as a professional, you help fight back against these harmful changes. Judges use these comments to determine whether these changes to the public charge rule are in line with the intent of the original law. And the administration is required by law to review every unique comment.

So we encourage you to individualize your comments, either by personalizing your comment as an individual or supplying evidence based on your expertise as a professional or representative of an organization. The sample comments we’ve created discuss the impacts of this public charge rule change on immigrants and poverty. We’ve given you specific sections where you can add information of your own.

Here’s how to comment, either as an individual or as an organization:

To comment as an individual, click here to download a Word document with our brief sample comment. The Word document should save to the downloads folder of your web browser – go there and open it. From there, you can personalize your comment based on the guide, and you’ll also find other sample text in the comment box – that’s important because DHS won’t count verbatim copies as separate comments (rule of thumb: make one-third of your comment unique to you). In addition to your own words, try mixing some text from each version. Once you are finished, simply copy and paste your comment into the box along with your name and email.

To comment as a professional or organization, click here to download a Word document with a detailed sample comment. The Word document should save to the downloads folder of your web browser – go there and open it. Our detailed comments give you room to provide supporting information based on your expertise. You are also permitted to provide attachments as supporting evidence. You will need to insert sentences from your own perspective, experience, or expertise – DHS will not count comments separately without some unique information. The sample comments also give you optional content to make it easier to vary your comments.

You will then need to submit your comment directly to the Federal Register using this link. There is a box at the top right of the page that says “Comment Now!” Copy and paste part of your comment- up to 5000 characters- into the main box. The full comments will need to be attached. Take the full Word document you created, press the “Choose file(s)” button beneath the comment box, and submit it as an attachment.

Fact Sheet on Public Charge and Poverty: Click here. You can use our fact sheet to inform your comments and share with your networks.

Next week is Poverty, Hunger, and Housing theme week for the Protecting Immigrant Families campaign. Join us in standing up for immigrant families as we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday:       

  • National Comment Day, Monday, November 19: Our friends at the Food Research & Action Center are holding a National Comment Day to oppose the public charge rule on Monday, November 19th. Help us spread the word! Share FRAC’s public charge comment guide here with the hashtag #NationalCommentDay. Help us get to our goal of submitting 100,000 comments against the revised public charge rule.
  • Public Charge Poverty Tweetstorm, Tuesday, November 20, 2:00 p.m. ET Join us by following @CoalitionHN on Twitter.

We all have so much to be thankful for – let’s show immigrant families we are thankful for them too. By sending a comment and sharing these events, you will help immigrant families hold on to the social services they depend on to keep them out of poverty while standing up for a fair immigration system.

Background: For over a hundred years, the public charge test has identified foreign nationals who might depend on the government as their main source of support. If the government determines that a person is likely to become a “public charge,” it can deny that person admission to the U.S. or lawful permanent residence for (also known as “green card” status).

On October 10, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed to change this long-standing policy to start excluding anyone who is likely to use certain health care, nutrition, or housing programs in the future. This would redefine our country as we know it. Only people with incomes higher than the national median would be assured of passing this new public chargetest. And this proposal would keep millions from getting the nutrition, health care, and housing help they need to help them work and get out of poverty.

We need your help to stop these harmful changes. The Trump administration’s updates are up for comment until December 10th. Before Trump’s “public charge” rule can be finalized, the administration is required by law to review and respond to every unique public comment they receive about the proposed regulation. As part of the Protecting Immigrant Families campaign, the Coalition on Human Needs has created a comment guide that will help you post a unique comment opposing this public charge rule change and explaining how it would lock immigrant families into poverty.