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Western Center’s Statement On Public Charge Proposed Rule

Making sure our families have enough food so they don’t go hungry, have a safe place to live, and have what they need to lead a healthy and meaningful life are among the most basic values we all share and that Western Center on Law and Poverty and our clients fight for every day. But the Trump Administration just published a proposed rule that, if adopted, would severely punish millions of Californians and families across the country for simply living by these values.

The proposed Trump Administration rule attacking these values would turn decades of sound policy on its head by denying basic needs and work supports like health care and nutrition that help families thrive. The administration’s proposed changed policy, known as the “public charge rule,” would block families trying to use the lawful immigration process from reuniting with loved ones and penalize people already lawfully present and seeking permanent lawful status if they participate in certain basic needs and work supports programs. Those programs include non-emergency Medicaid (Medi-Cal), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program (SNAP), known as CalFresh, and Section 8 housing assistance–programs that give help and stability to families who might be one medical crisis away from losing their home or who struggle, despite holding down multiple jobs, to feed their families during that last week of the month. The rule would punish these families while allowing wealthy families to pay a bond in order to be exempted from the rule. That is simply cruel and unfair.

But the Trump proposed rule is not final—it has not gone into effect. The public has until December 10, 2018, 60 days after the proposed rule was published, to submit written comments on it. We can all take action against the proposed rule by educating ourselves and telling the Trump administration why the rule would be so harmful using the Protecting Immigrant Families comment webpage.

Western Center believes that a family’s health, wellbeing, and opportunity to thrive should not depend on the level of wage they earn or a family member’s immigration status. If you share these values, join Western Center and Protecting Immigrant Families in the fight against the Trump Administration’s shortsighted and harsh proposed rule. Comments from both organizations and individuals are encouraged.