New rule forces immigrant families to make impossible choices

September 25, 2018
by Meredith Dodson, Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns

Over the weekend, the Trump administration announced a new policy that would force legally residing immigrants to choose between getting what they need or staying with the families they love. According to the new changes, a person can be denied permanent residency in the U.S. if they have merely received Medicaid, SNAP (formerly food stamps), federal housing assistance, and other public benefits.

This is not only bad policy – it’s cruel and immoral. We must take action.

Beyond the devastating real-life impact of the new rule is its chilling effect. Families might forgo essential assistance, even if they or their kids are legally entitled to it, out of fear of being deported. In fact, this is already happening.

This rule is being implemented by the Department of Homeland Security, not Congress. The administration must change course. People across the country, and our members of Congress, must stand up against any change that cuts families off from food and medical care. A “public comment” period will begin soon, but we can’t wait until then to start speaking out. Even if this isn’t something your member of Congress will be voting on, their voice is still influential.

Write a letter to the editor urging your members of Congress to oppose a policy that will punish families and kids.

This new rule will put hardworking immigrant families in an impossible position. No one should have to risk their health and well-being – or even go hungry – in order to stay with the people they love in the country they call home.

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