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Monday, September 24, 2018

Public Charge Proposal would Harm Immigrant Families

This week, the Trump administration released a new proposal that would radically expand the definition of “Public Charge,” creating new immigration penalties for low income families who access safety net programs.

Public Charge is a term the government uses now in immigration applications to describe a person who relies on cash assistance or long term institutionalization to survive. Being considered a Public Charge can result in the denial of a green card application. The new proposal would expand the application of Public Charge to impact millions more families than it does today, prioritizing wealth while punishing lower-income families who have waited for years to realize their dreams of obtaining permanent residency.

Read the statement from Causa’s Executive Director, Andrea Williams:

“In Oregon we know that healthy families create strong communities. These proposed changes would harm immigrants living in Oregon by forcing them to choose between qualifying for a green card, and providing basic services like food, nutrition, and housing to their families. The impact could be enormous; twelve percent of Oregon’s population are US born children with at least one immigrant parent. To protect the health and well-being of all of our families, we strongly condemn the Trump administration’s harmful new proposal. 

The Administration claims that the goal of this proposal is to promote self sufficiency - but we know that their true intent is to sow fear in our community, causing vulnerable families to question whether it is safe to feed or house their families, whether or not the rule would affect them. Time and again the Administration has converted its xenophobic rhetoric into policy by targeting immigrants from racial minorities, and this proposal is no different. 

Causa is joining with hundreds of organizations in Oregon and throughout the country to stop this attack on Oregon families, and we’ll need your help. Soon, the public will have the chance to make comments on this harmful proposal. Join Causa and pledge to speak out against the Public Charge rule change and speak up for Oregon families.

We want our families to know that you are not alone. Your voice matters, and there is still time to fight back.” 

Public Charge and how it affects each family is a complicated issue and it is important to get the facts before making changes in your household. Find our Quick Facts below and visit Oregon Immigration Resource to find more resources for families and providers.

Quick facts About Public Charge:

  • Public Charge does not apply to everybody. Learn how the rule applies to you.
  • Don’t give up services your family needs due to fear. Get the facts before making decisions.
  • Help is available: Contact an immigration attorney with questions about immigration options and public benefits. (Find one at Contact Oregon’s Public Benefits Hotline with questions about benefits and enrollment: (800) 520-5292.
  • The proposed rule would not apply retroactively, meaning that when and if it becomes actual policy, families will have ample time to make the best decision for themselves and their loved ones. 

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