//Public Charge Action
Public Charge Action2018-10-10T15:06:16+00:00


On October 10, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued proposed changes to a federal rule as an attack on immigrant families and their right to vital services like health care, education, nutrition, and housing. DHS says it wants to change the rules so that immigrants who use public services cannot receive a green card. But, current law already restricts which public services immigrants can use! Trump’s proposed rule is unnecessary and rips away the most basic safety net that protects us all.

Families will be forced to choose between their children’s well-being and their opportunity for a future in the United States. The new rule could keep immigrants from getting their green card if they receive a benefit like Medi-Cal, WIC, SNAP or any housing assistance programs like Section 8. The children we care for may suffer when some family members get access to necessary medical care and others do not. It creates food insecurity and elevates their risk of homelessness in our already struggling communities.

How we’re addressing the issue

The rule is not on the books now but if it goes into effect it will hurt Local 99 families.

We can stop the hate but, we need your help! Tell DHS why this rule is a bad idea. From October 10 – December 10, there is a sixty-day public comment period in which we must raise our voices and speak out. When the comment period ends, DHS must review our comments and address them before issuing a final rule. After that, the final rule will not go into effect until 60 days after it is issued.

Tell DHS how Medi-Cal, WIC, CHIP, CalFresh, public housing or other public services helped your family, friends, or your community below. As an education worker, tell us how important healthcare, housing, and food programs are to ensuring students are ready to learn every day. 

Who’s Impacted

A previous version of the proposed public charge rule stated immigrants applying for a green card would be impacted by the benefits received by their U.S. born children or by their families’ participation in local school breakfast/lunch programs. This no longer applies. Participation in the following programs will disqualify immigrants from green cards if this rule is approved by DHS:

  • Non-emergency Medicaid;
  • SNAP (food stamps);
  • Section 8 housing and other housing programs;
  • Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy

THIS LIST IS PARTIAL and there are many other programs impacted by this malicious rule. For the complete proposal, visit the Federal Register.

Important Changes

Not only is the Trump administration leading an assault on our most basic principles, they are also trying to rewrite the rules about what can be used against you if you’re applying for a green card. The proposed “public charge” rule contains language to make certain these personal factors will be counted against you in your application. If you’re:

  • Too young (<18) or too old (>61)
  • Have an existing medical condition (and no insurance)
  • Have a large family
  • Have limited English fluency
  • Are low-income

The Dangers

The proposed change to the “public charge” rule puts money over working families plain and simple. If approved, it could force immigrant families to forego needed healthcare, go hungry and even become homeless in order to secure a future in America for themselves or their children. Make no mistake this rule would be the first step in an attack on all public services – an attack aimed at all of us. The Trump Administration is gearing up for its assault on our country’s safety net programs that serve all communities but especially low-income, working families. Anti-hunger, anti-poverty, and affordable housing programs are critical to working people who receive poverty wages despite working 40 hours a week or more. Trump is piloting his attack on social services by going after our most vulnerable first – immigrant communities. We can and we must stop this.

Public Charge Comments

Now more than ever we must speak out on the impact the “public charge” rule will have on all families. We’re collecting stories to submit the most persuasive ones to the administration to fight back against these attacks. Share your story with us.

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