NCLEJ Denounces Attack on Immigrant Families Who Need Government Help in Times of Emergency

Continuing its attacks on immigrants and working families, the Trump administration on Saturday night announced a proposed rule that would debilitate low-income immigrants, children of immigrants, and naturalized citizens currently in the U.S. These proposed changes to long standing immigration rules impose harsh consequences on indigent immigrants who desperately need assistance affording essentials such as food or medical care and penalizes citizen sponsors who have pledge to support their immigrating family members. The National Center for Law and Economic Justice stands with low-income immigrant communities and will fight against these anti-immigrant policies.

The proposed rule expands the definition of a “public charge” under Immigration and Nationality Act, which considers receipt of cash assistance or long-term care as one of many factors determining whether a non-citizen seeking entry or lawful permanent residence will be able to support themselves in the future. The proposed rule expands “public charge” to include receipt of essential programs that were previously excluded from consideration, including Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and housing assistance.

NCLEJ and the rest of the Protecting Immigrant Families coalition will fight this proposed rule and all attempts to condemn immigrant families in poverty. Individuals who live in this country should not be turned away in desperate times when they need help feeding their families or jeopardizing their future immigration status if they need health care coverage for their children. This proposed rule threatens the entire healthcare and safety net system that helps all of us, including immigrants, be healthy, productive and successful members of America’s communities and families.

These changes cannot take effect until the Administration reviews and responds to public comment. During the upcoming 60-day comment period, organizations and individuals may submit their questions and comments about the proposed rule to the Department of Homeland Security.

To learn more about the proposed rule, visit