Proposed change to Public Charge rule now published; CHN urges that comments be submitted


October 10, 2018

Editor’s note: Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director of the Coalition on Human Needs, issued the following statement Wednesday in response to the Trump Administration’s proposed Department of Homeland Security rule regarding immigrants. For more information on the rule, see this article from CHN’s October 8 Human Needs Report. 
“Today the Trump Administration officially published, for comment, a rule that would fundamentally change our country’s immigration system. CHN, in coordination with our allies, will encourage our members and supporters to submit individually tailored comments in opposition to the rule during the 60-day comment period, which runs through Monday, Dec. 10. Comments may be submitted here.

“The Trump Administration’s proposed Public Charge rule is the latest in a series of unconscionable attacks on immigrants and immigrant communities. First, this administration tried banning Muslims from U.S. shores. Then it pursued an indescribably cruel policy of separating children from their parents at our southern border. Further, the Administration ended temporary protected status for hundreds of thousands of people who had escaped dangerous conditions in their countries of origin and who now risk deportation.

“We believe the Public Charge rule would make using health, anti-hunger, anti-poverty, or affordable housing programs a disqualifier for immigration for many people, putting millions of families at risk. The proposed Public Charge rule would punish immigrants going through official immigration processes and their families for applying for or receiving benefits for which they are legally eligible. This would mean people will fear enrolling in Medicaid or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) because it would render them ineligible for a green card. The legal use of Medicare prescription drug coverage or residency in public housing could also exclude immigrants from legal work status or from entering the country. There are already many limitations on non-citizens receiving assistance; this new rule will worsen the climate of fear the Trump Administration has doggedly imposed. If immigrants are too afraid to seek benefits they qualify for, the result will be a sicker, hungrier, poorer nation.

“The Coalition on Human Needs stands with the millions of immigrants who are bearing the brunt of an agenda of racial animus and exclusion. We know this agenda harms innocent people and families. It harms all of us in communities across the nation. We know it does not reflect the principles for which we stand. We join with hundreds of thousands of Americans to show the harmfulness of this proposal, and during the 60-day comment period, we will urge our many members, supporters and allies to submit individual comments detailing the potential harm of the proposed rule, and calling for its rejection.”