New public charge rule to harm millions of immigrant families

October 18, 2018

Recently, the Trump administration released a proposed rule that could deny green cards (permanent residency) to legal immigrants who have used, or might use, safety-net programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Medicaid.

This new rule could also penalize low-income immigrants, families with more than two children, people who have health conditions, and anyone over the age of 61 and under 18. If this public charge rule is adopted, millions of immigrant families could be forced to make the impossible choice: use SNAP benefits to put food on the table and risk the chance of getting deported. Or, not accept help and suffer for lack food or medical care. 

The administration’s rule could affect millions of legal residents in the U.S. – including children. Nearly one quarter of children in the U.S. have at least one immigrant parent, and 9 in 10 of these children, who would be most impacted, are citizens. Immigrants are among those most in need of the programs targeted under the public charge rule, as they experience hunger at twice the rate of other Americans – (25.1 percent to 13.9 percent) in 2017.

This means more immigrant families falling deeper into hunger.

The chilling effect is real among the immigrant community. We are seeing more and more immigrant families afraid to use safety-net programs, even if eligible, for fear of deportation. Penalizing hardworking immigrant families and their children for using safety-net programs undermines our future workforce and weakens the economy.

Throughout scripture, God calls us to act with hospitality when welcoming the stranger.  In fact, Jesus himself was born away from his home and depended on the hospitality of strangers. As Christians, we must reject the public charge rule that targets immigrant communities. Now more than ever, we must stand with immigrant families who fear that despite their hard work, they might still be deported just because they need a helping hand.

Join us in opposition to the public charge rule by submitting a comment urging the Department of Homeland Security to withdraw this harmful rule. It is easy, just follow the five steps below:

Step one: Go to Protecting Immigrant Families and scroll down the page.
Step two: Fill out the “submit a comment” form.
Step three: Draft your comment or use the sample comments below.
Step four: Click “Submit Comment” (the Protecting Immigrant Families campaign will automatically submit your comment to the public register).
Step five: Encourage others to act by sharing on social media!

Done!

Submit your comment TODAY! The comment period ends on Dec. 10.  Do not delay. Make your voice heard!

Sample comments:

"I strongly oppose the proposed public charge rule. Immigrant families should not be punished, deported or criminalized for accessing food assistance programs such as SNAP. I urge you to revoke this cruel proposal that would only push more families into hunger."

“I am writing today to urge the Department of Homeland Security to withdraw the public charge rule immediately.  Under this proposal, immigrant families and their children will have to face the impossible decision of staying together in the U.S. or access healthy food through programs such as SNAP.”

“As a person of faith, I am called to welcome the immigrant and feed the hungry. I urge the Department of Homeland Security to withdraw this rule. Denying immigrant families green cards because they might have used the SNAP program to feed their children is inconsistent with my faith.”

We are seeing more and more immigrant families afraid to use safety-net programs, even if eligible, for fear of deportation.

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