Letters to the Editor

Public charge rule is harmful and discriminatory

Imagine having to make the choice between legal residency in the U.S. and providing food for your family. According to a proposed rule from the Department of Homeland Security, many immigrants may soon have to make that choice.

The rule, known as public charge, would make the use of public benefits including Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and potentially the Children’s Health Insurance Program, grounds for inadmissibility for those applying for green cards. It is already clear that these changes will deter families from accessing needed health, housing, and food programs for themselves and for their children. Additionally, the proposed rule allows emergency medical assistance but may prevent regular primary care, which forces people to wait until their health conditions become serious and more expensive problems. This rule change would discriminate against lower-income immigrant families and people with disabilities, have deleterious effects on public health for both citizens and non-citizens, and effectively create a preexisting condition ban for immigration to the United States. Seeking needed assistance should not put your chances for legal residency at risk.

Tell DHS that our country does not only welcome the healthiest and wealthiest. Submit your comments to DHS by December 10 at regulations.gov.