‘We must stand together for justice.’ Health & Medicine Opposes Public Charge Rule Change - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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‘We must stand together for justice.’ Health & Medicine Opposes Public Charge Rule Change

August 15, 2019

Health & Medicine Policy Research Group condemns the latest cruel attack by the Trump Administration on immigrants and low-income people by releasing their final “public charge” rule, set to go into effect on October 15th.

Health & Medicine staff join the Protecting Immigrant Families-Illinois coalition at a press briefing on Aug. 15.

This rule will punish people seeking permanent resident status in the United States if they use—or are deemed likely to use in the future—public supports to meet their family’s basic health, housing, and nutrition needs through programs like Medicaid, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, Medicare Part D, and Section 8 Housing Vouchers. It will further make our immigration system more unjust and racist by penalizing people seeking legal status if they have disabilities or chronic illnesses, are young children or elderly, do not have a high school diploma, or do not speak English proficiently, along with a host of other so-called ‘negative factors’ that would count particularly against low-income people of color trying to attain the American dream. The Administration’s promotion and adoption of this rule is racist both because of the disproportionate impact on immigrant communities of color and the explicitly racist rhetoric of the Trump Administration upon which this action is based.

The “Public Charge” rule change demonizes those who use safety net programs and services that fill gaps left by systemic issues that leave many individuals and families unable to support themselves and provide the necessary supports to allow them to thrive. This adds to the other Trump Administration actions against immigrants that create a climate of fear, anxiety, and trauma—causing direct physical and emotional damage to people. The words and actions of the Administration have contributed to an increase in hate crimes, including the horrific mass shooting in El Paso that targeted Latinx people.

Health & Medicine will continue to work with partners locally and nationally to fight back against the implementation of this cruel rule—we ask that you too seek ways to contribute to ending this and all attacks on immigrants and low-income people. We must stand together for justice.

Here are some ways to take action:

  • Learn the basics about “public charge” via this webinar
  • Spread the word about the harmful effects on social media – please use the hashtag #ProtectFamilies on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Click here to access a DHS Finalization Digital Media Toolkit.
  • Getting the Help You Need – This resource is designed for people that work directly with immigrant families to help them understand whether they are subject to public charge.
  • You Have Rights: Protect Your Health – (NEW LANGUAGES) – This resource is designed to help mixed-status families know more about their rights when it comes to going to the doctor or enrolling in health insurance.