October 10, 2018
ADVANCING JUSTICE WILL FIGHT PUBLIC CHARGE
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officially posted proposed changes to public charge regulations in the Federal Register. Similar to the draft released on September 22, the posted regulations greatly expand the number of public benefit programs to include health care programs such as Medicaid or the Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy Program, nutrition programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and housing assistance programs, such as the Section 8 housing and rental assistance programs.
It also sets up an elitist and ageist system by providing detailed guidance on a series of factors used for public charge determinations which favor healthier, wealthier, and highly educated adults while penalizing children, older adults, people with lower incomes, people who are living with chronic health conditions or disabilities, and people who are not fluent in English.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five civil rights organizations, issues the following statement:
“We are appalled at the Trump administration’s blatant attack on immigrant communities. The proposed regulations are inhumanely penalizing immigrant families for using life-saving health, nutrition, and housing services and essentially guaranteeing legal status to the highest bidder.
Advancing Justice believes that immigrant families deserve the right to reunite with loved ones and use programs that ensure they are healthy, safe, and thriving. Staying in this country should not depend on what you look like, your age, or how much money you have or can make. It should be about how you contribute to your community and how you live your life. The proposed rule changes will lower immigration levels to the U.S., ultimately denying green cards to many family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, and change the fabric of our country.
Additionally, this rule will scare families away from critical safety net programs even if they will not be affected by the proposed changes. This “chilling effect” will be devastating to immigrant communities and communities across America. We have already seen many immigrant families discouraged from using public benefits or disenrolling from needed health, nutrition, and housing programs. We urge immigrant families to continue using these necessary programs now if they are needed.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice is committed to opposing these proposed regulations and to stop these mean-spirited and cruel changes. We strongly encourage our communities to fight back and take action by submitting public comments against the regulations online in the next 60 days at bit.ly/AAAJ-public-charge.”
Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation’s members are: Advancing Justice | AAJC (Washington, D.C.), Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Advancing Justice – Atlanta, and Advancing Justice – Chicago.