On October 10, the Department of Homeland Security posted a proposed “public charge” regulation (a notice of proposed rulemaking) in the federal register, asking the public to submit comments by Dec. 10, 2018, before it becomes final.
No family should have to decide between putting food on the table and their future in our country. But that’s exactly what will happen if a new government rule called “public charge” becomes law.
Food Lifeline needs your help: Before the new rule can go forward, the administration is required by law to collect public comments over a 60 day period and consider every unique comment they receive about it.
Now is the time to tell the administration that no one should go hungry because of their immigration status. This new rule would punish legal immigrants if they receive food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by jeopardizing their ability to stay in the United States – even if they are qualified for the SNAP program.
Worse yet, the new rule will create fear and confusion that may dissuade immigrant communities – regardless of whether they are impacted by the rule – from seeking needed food in the first place. Already food banks across the country are seeing the impact of this proposed rule as immigrant families we serve are becoming fearful of receiving any food assistance.
If this rule is implemented, the fear the rule creates will ensure more people will go hungry in our communities regardless of whether the rule directly impacts them.
ACTION NEEDED: Using your own words, submit comments that describe how taking away the ability to use basic need services, like food assistance, would harm you, your family, or your community.
WHO: Agency staff, board members, volunteers, community partners
HOW MANY: Number of unique, individual comments: 5 to 10 per agency
MORE INFO: protectingimmigrantfamilies.org/resources
- Write comments in your own words. Government agency staff must code and organize all comments, and the process is very different if they have to pause and consider what’s similar and what’s different in each comment, as opposed to just counting the number of commenters saying the same thing. It is fine to work from a sample comment, but you should modify it to reflect your own thoughts and experiences so that it counts as a unique comment.
- Submit separate comments, rather than signing onto comments from someone else.
- If you have credibility in an issue area, say so. If you are a subject matter expert and want to offer comments on your area of expertise, explain why you are uniquely qualified to offer this perspective.
- If you work directly with immigrants, please describe why they usually come to the country, how they use government benefits, what it means for their well-being and their children’s, and how they contribute to their families and community.
- If you are a concerned individual that thinks this is wrong, explain what you think our country’s values should be and why this change goes against it. You may want to talk about the realities of low-and moderate-wage work and explain why those workers shouldn’t be penalized based on the prevailing wage, lack of access to private or employer sponsored insurance, or lack of affordable housing near where their labor is needed.
Please send in your comment on Regulations.gov.