“No family should have to choose between forgoing services like food or medical care or living in fear that their families will not be able to stay together in the United States,” says Davis. “Share our Strength strongly supports this final ruling, which ensures that DHS will not consider the use of health care, nutrition or housing programs when making public charge decisions.”
Contacts: Meredith Jorss, email@example.com
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This morning, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule that codifies the reversal of the previous Administration’s restrictions on immigration based on use or potential use of public benefits like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and improves upon the policy by providing clarity and consistency for immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship. The following is a statement from Share Our Strength’s Senior Vice President Lisa Davis.
“We applaud the White House for restoring the historical understanding of a ‘public charge’ and adding critical protections to secure immigrant families’ access to the health and social services safety net now and in the future.
“The changes made by the Trump Administration forced low-income legal immigrant families to make impossible choices between preserving their immigration status and the health and wellbeing of their children.
“This had a chilling effect, causing many families to avoid using benefits that they were legally eligible for, including critical child nutrition programs, out of fear or confusion whether or not they were directly affected by the policy changes. According to our own research with the Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) coalition, 46% of immigrant families that needed help during the pandemic did not apply for assistance due to concerns over their immigration status.
“No family should have to choose between forgoing services like food or medical care or living in fear that their families will not be able to stay together in the United States. When we make sure all of our nation’s children are nourished, housed and cared for, it creates a stronger and more equitable society where children thrive and communities prosper.
“The 2021 reversal of the public charge rule was an important first step. Share our Strength strongly supports this final rule, which addresses the need for clarity that DHS will not consider the use of health care, nutrition or housing programs when making immigration decisions and makes it more difficult to enact future radical changes.
“To help diffuse the harmful impact of the original ruling we have doubled down on our support of culturally responsive outreach to eligible immigrant families. We are working in partnership with trusted national and local community partners across states like Arizona, California and Florida so families have the facts about the programs for which they qualify.”
About No Kid Hungry
No child should go hungry in America. But in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, 1 in 8 kids could face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is working to end childhood hunger by helping launch and improve programs that give all kids the healthy food they need to thrive. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty.