The Academy strongly opposes the public charge proposal issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that could harm immigrant families' willingness to access nutrition support, housing assistance, and health care. This proposed rule on "public charge" would expand the test used to decide if someone can obtain legal residency in the United States.
If the rule takes effect, the federal government would consider whether an immigrant has used or is likely to use public benefits, including Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and housing assistance. The test would also consider an immigrant's income and preexisting medical conditions.
The new proposal could force immigrant parents to choose between keeping their families together in this country or accessing vital health, housing and nutrition programs to stay healthy.
There is a 60-day comment period that ends on December 10, 2018. Any changes to current practice will not take effect until after the government considers the comments and the proposed rule is finalized.
The Academy is submitting comprehensive comments to the rule and is encouraging its members to submit their own comments.