“Public charge” rule permanently blocked

The 2019 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) public charge rule has been blocked permanently nationwide.

The rule penalized some immigrants who turned to certain public assistance programs for help, sowing fear in the immigrant community and leading many to forego needed aid.  It created an unnecessary wealth test and, for the first time, included in the test the use of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other key public benefits, as a factor when determining immigration status.

This created a chilling effect on participation in SNAP and other vital nutrition programs – even those not covered by the rule, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and other child nutrition programs – by eligible immigrants and their family members.

Now, the Department of Homeland Security can no longer consider an individual’s use and potential use of SNAP, as a factor in determining immigration status.

As immigrant families have been disproportionately hit by spikes in hunger rates stemming from the public health and economic fallout of COVID-19, the ability to access programs that safeguard their nutrition, health care, housing and economic security without fear is particularly important.

This is great news and we need to get the word out about this. Please share this blog on social media, in your e-news and on your website, if you are able.

We join with our national partners, including Food Research & Action Center, in commending the Biden Administration for eliminating policies that worsen the growing hunger in the U.S.

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