Public Charge Rule: A Chilling Effect for Immigrant Families

I wanted to share this excellent explanation by Rocio Perez about the negative effect of the 2019 Public Charge Rule on immigrant families. This rule also impacts many U.S. citizens with immigrant relatives.

Today's Immigration Policies

Last year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published proposed changes to the public charge rule, a provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act, that would drastically impact mixed-status families and individuals seeking legal permanent residency (LPR). The new rule, expected to take effect on October 15, 2019, would include previously excluded healthcare, nutritional, and housing programs such as non-emergency Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Section 8 housing which would expand the considerations in public charge determinations. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency defends the new changes, arguing that they promote “self-sufficiency and personal responsibility,” consistent with American values. However, this statement dismisses the subjective nature of ‘the American Dream’ by oversimplifying and ignoring the myriad complexities of the immigrant experience.

Under current immigration law, ‘public charge is a term used to refer to someone who is dependent on the government for support such as utilizing…

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