The Trump administration is pushing forward a proposed rule that would force many immigrants and their families to choose between accessing essential public services and keeping their families together.
In a press release by the Department of Homeland Security on September 22, 2018, the administration announced the proposed rule would be published in coming weeks, for a 60-day public comment period. This draft proposed rule would alter the longstanding definition and application of public charge provisions in immigration law.
Based on the draft released on September 22, 2018, by DHS, the rule would radically expand the benefits that could be considered in determining whether a person is likely to become a public charge to include health care, nutrition and housing programs. It would also adopt a new stringent income threshold.
Leaders of the Protecting Immigrant Families Michigan campaign issued a press release on September 25, 2018.
To stay updated and fight back, join our PIF - Michigan Listserv.
Urgent Action Alert: Organizations, help us urge Michigan’s Congressional delegation to speak up on public charge and submit a public comment by signing on to this letter, by Wednesday, 9/26.
Prepare to make comments! When the proposed rule is published, we will have only 60 days to make public comments.
How can I comment? When the rule is published, comments can be submitted directly through OurAmericanStory.us. Customizable templates will be available. The site will go live as soon as the comment period opens.
Do I have to share my information when I comment? Commenters will not be required to provide their address or information about their immigration status. We encourage anyone who wants to submit an anonymous comment to ask a friend or family member to share your story.
Are there resources for organizational or institutional comments? Yes, sector-specific templates will be available for you to edit and submit directly to the Federal Register along with any attachments. These templates and submission instructions will be shared through our listserv as soon as the comment period opens.
Other tips? Unique comments will be most effective. We encourage you to individualize your comment by sharing how this rule will affect you or your community.
What immigrant families should know now:
This proposed rule is not yet official, and we can fight back!
There’s no reason to drop off public benefits like Medicaid or food stamps now. If a new rule is eventually implemented, it will only apply going forward. The only benefits that currently affect the public charge determination are cash assistance or institutionalized long-term care paid for by the government.
Some immigrants are exempt from a public charge determination, including refugees, asylees, U-visa or T-visa recipients, VAWA, Special Immigrant Juveniles (SIJS) and some others.
If you already have a green card, the new rule would only affect you if you leave the U.S. for more than 6 months, or are otherwise seeking readmission into the U.S. The new rule would not apply when renewing your green card or applying to become a U.S. Citizen.
Individuals outside of the U.S., applying for admission, or who plan to leave the U.S. to get their green card through a U.S. consulate abroad, may already be subject to a stricter public charge evaluation. Consult with an immigration attorney before leaving the United States.