On September 22, 2018, the Trump Administration’s Department of Homeland Security proposed changes to the ‘public charge’ rule that may have a dramatic impact on immigrants and temporary visa holders and their families. The proposed rule changes the current definition of ‘public charge’ as someone ‘primarily dependent on the government for subsistence’ to a broader definition that would apply to anyone who is deemed likely at any time in the future to receive government benefits from a broadened list to include all major housing, food, and health care Federal safety net programs.
Making the potential future use of these programs a disqualifier for legal status threatens family stability and wellbeing. As Family Resource Centers serving our local communities, we see long-term positive movement of families toward self-sufficiency that may need these temporary supports to stabilize in the face of shocks that occur to anyone. The threat to legally present families and children in accessing public services for which they are eligible and are contributing through their taxes will result in worse health and education outcomes for children. Stronger families make a stronger community. Therefore, we oppose the proposed “public charge” rule change that would make it punitive for immigrants to access basic services.
As Executive Directors representing the Family Resource Centers in Boulder County, we will be submitting our joint statement into the public comment and would like to ask you to join in the many voices expressing their concern for this rule change. Public comment is being taken until December 10, 2018 and can be accessed here.
Please help us keep the safety net intact for all of our families.
Julie Van Domelen, Executive Director, Emergency Family Assistance Association
Edwina Salazar, Executive Director, OUR Center
Suzanne Crawford, Chief Executive Officer, Sister Carmen Community Center