This weekend, the Department of Homeland Security published an unofficial “public charge” proposed rule. As of now, the official proposed rule has not yet been filed in the Federal Register and the 60-day comment period has yet to begin. This proposal would penalize immigrant families who seek assistance in meeting their basic nutrition, health care, and housing needs. Please see below for Legal Council’s statement on this proposed rule.
We are disappointed but hardly surprised at the news that the Department of Homeland Security has posted a draft of a new rule that would make using health, anti-hunger, anti-poverty, or affordable housing programs a disqualifier for remaining lawfully in the U.S.. The rule would force thousands of Illinois families to make an unthinkable choice—healthcare or lawful permanent status—and make Illinois sicker, hungrier, and poorer.
Despite what the administration shovels at us, we know that we are stronger together. Diversity is our nation’s strength–making our ideas better, our creativity stronger, our communities richer. Immigrants are our families, friends, and neighbors. To force them into impossible choices hurts us all. We must work together to fight back because we know that together we can win.
Please join us in following this issue and in commenting once the rule is published in the federal register. Join us at Protecting Immigrant Families Illinois (firstname.lastname@example.org) and connect with us on social media.
UPDATE, 10/18/2018: The public comment period for this proposed rule is now OPEN. Learn how to submit your comment to stop this public charge.