Trump administration seeks to punish immigrants for feeding their children, going to the doctor

CIPC denounces vindictive federal proposal that takes takes aim at food, health programs

Image Credit: Theo Rigby
For immediate release: September 22, 2018

Today the Trump administration announced a proposal that, if implemented, would punish immigrant families for accessing nutrition, housing, and medical care programs for which they are already eligible. The proposed change to “public charge”a designation that may affect eligibility for permanent residency—would restrict the ability for immigrant families and their children to access needed public programs like Medi-Cal, SNAP, and housing assistance. The California Immigrant Policy Center condemned the proposal, issuing the following statement:

“This proposal is yet another malicious attack by this administration on our common humanity. The mother who feeds her children, the father who provides a roof over his family’s head, and the child who sees their doctor for a routine check up are a vital part of our communities - no matter what they look like or where they were born.

Our country works best when there is a clear road to opportunity that uplifts the health and well-being of all communities.

Yet, this cruel proposal would punish some immigrants for participating in health or nutrition programs they are already eligible for, undermining their chances to obtain a green card. The federal government should not upend longstanding policy to stoke fear among immigrant families. Nor should it set more obstacles on the path to opportunity that threaten to worsen racial, health, and economic disparities.

Now more than ever, we must resist. Once the proposal is published for public comment, we call upon every Californian of conscience to flood the Department of Homeland Security with comments opposing this draconian measure. We must fight the Trump administration’s efforts to discriminate against low-income families and further erode the safety net.

We also want immigrant communities to know that we will fight any attempts to chip away at the health and well-being of immigrant families.

And let us be clear: no policies have changed yet. This anti-immigrant rule has not gone into effect.

No human being should be punished for taking care of their loved ones.”

More information about public charge and the national campaign to Protect Immigrant Families, including how to submit your comments once this proposal is published for public comment is available at: www.protectingimmigrantfamilies.org

The California Immigrant Policy Center has convened the California - Protecting Immigrant Families Coalition, comprised of health, food justice, immigrant advocates, and others to push back on attacks to immigrant families. For more information, visit: bit.ly/californiapif

Background:

Currently, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) considers many factors when deciding to grant lawful permanent residence, also known as a green card. One of these factors is a person’s past or possible future use of public benefits, but currently, only two categories of benefits are considered: cash assistance (such as CalWorks or SSI) and long-term care (such as nursing home care that a government program pays for). Any other benefitsincluding Medi-Cal, CalFresh, and WICare not considered. The Trump administration’s anti-immigrant proposal aims to punitively expand the benefits to be considered; however, no changes have yet been made to the process for individuals applying for LPR status from within the U.S. This means that immigrants who are currently eligible for these important programs can continue to use them.

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Questions?

Those that have questions about their ability to adjust status can contact a One California immigration legal service provider to get advice about the specifics of their case.


Press Contacts

For more information, please contact:

Carolina Gamero
Senior Communications Specialist
cgamero@caimmigrant.org