October 10th, 2018
Send Comments to Oppose New Public Charge Rules Proposed for Immigrants
These new rules will discourage low income working families from getting benefits they need for housing, medical care and food. We have a brief period of time to comment (by December 10).
From our friends at California Food Policy Advocates and the Protect Immigrant Families coalition:
Today, the Trump administration's proposed "public charge" regulation was published in the Federal Register for public comment. This proposal is a targeted attack on our immigrant neighbors that, if it becomes law, would extend harm to entire communities across California, but with your help-we can fight it.
The public has 60 days to comment on the rule, which means there's time to raise our voices and prevent this cruel attack on immigrant families.
What is being proposed?
- Expanding the definition of "public charge" to prevent immigrants from obtaining permanent residency (also known as a green card) if they utilize essential public programs, like CalFresh, Medi-Cal, and Section 8 housing vouchers. Currently, "public charge" only applies to those primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, that is receiving the majority of their income from cash aid or relying on government institutionalization.
- Radically altering our legal immigration system to favor the wealthy over hard-working families by adopting an income threshold for a "public charge" test. This means a family of four would have to earn over $62,000 annually to avoid scrutiny under the new test.
The result is that many immigrant families, who are legally entitled to these benefit programs, will not apply, for fear that it will make it harder for them to become legal permanent residents.
How would that impact California?
- Create and intensify fear that discourages immigrants from seeking programs that support their basic needs-even if the rule does not technically apply to them. The fear of harm will reduce access to affordable, nutritious food for children and family members.
- Fewer children get the food and healthcare they need to develop healthy bodies and minds, stifling their ability to contribute to California's future prosperity.
- Fewer older adults will be able to afford the food they need to stay healthy and age in place, or the health care and housing that is vital to their livelihoods.
- Increased need and avoidance of preventive services by immigrant Californians would impact and strain our schools, child welfare agencies, public health systems, and hospitals.
- State, local governments, charities, and community-based organizations would not be able to fill the gap with more resources and support services to meet the rising need.
If our neighbors lose access to nutritious food, healthcare, or housing, every problem our state faces will worsen. California is home to more than 10 million immigrants. Half of all California children have at least one immigrant parent, and more than a third of working-age adults in the state are immigrants. In defense of our diverse and dynamic communities, Californians must rise up, speak out, and fight back against this administration's attack on immigrant families.
The time to act is now.
The Protecting Immigrant Families Coalition has the goal of submitting 100,000 unique comments to the Federal Register to reflect the outrage felt by millions of Americans who recognize immigrants' well-being as integral to the health and prosperity of this country.
Under federal law, the Trump administration is required to read and respond to every unique comment before it can finalize its harmful regulation. Regulatory commenting is not lobbying, so even organizations restricted from certain advocacy activities can voice their opposition.
By adding your comment you strengthen our political power in this fight.
Comments are due on or before December 10.