Take Legislative Action Against the 'Public Charge' Rule!

Put the brakes on a rule that targets immigrant families and weaponizes public benefits programs

August 12, 2019

Early on August 12, 2019, the Trump administration introduced the final version of their change to the public charge regulation. The rule change would significantly expand the list of public accommodations which would count against an immigrant’s admissibility. By tying admission likelihood to financial well-being, the Trump administration is effectively imposing a wealth test on immigrants. 

The policy would require caseworkers determining an immigrant’s admission status to consider the use of benefit programs such as government housing such as Section 8 housing vouchers, food and medical assistance programs such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), and considerations such as age, income and English-speaking ability. Importantly, the rule change would also require that caseworkers consider whether any members of an immigrant’s family are accessing public benefits programs as well. This stipulation has already led to damaging chilling effects on participation in vital public assistance programs, among both immigrant communities and others. 

This only underscores the truly insidious nature of this rule change. Not only does it target immigrants from poorer backgrounds, but it weaponizes and scapegoats public benefits programs more broadly. Not only is this rule change indicative of the Trump administration’s xenophobia but also their longstanding animus for those with the greatest need. For immigrant communities of color, the Trump administration’s commitment to anti-immigrant and austerity policies intersect to devastating effect.

This rule change should not be understood in a vacuum, but rather as part of this administration’s austere, white supremacist worldview. This worldview manifests in other rule changes proposed by DOJ (Department of Justice) and HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development), as well as in draconian family separation policies, aggressive and violent border practices, and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raids on immigrant communities. 

This rule change is not scheduled to go into effect until October 15. In the meantime, we will continue to fight it through legislative action such as the No Federal Funds for Public Charge Act, H.R.3222, a bill which would cut off the funding required to enact the public charge rule change.

We encourage you to take action by using the button below in order to urge your representative to support this vital legislation.




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