Many of us have been monitoring the public charge rule change so we knew would be coming out soon. This is an attack on legally-present immigrants around their access to vital services, including WIC, food stamps, Head Start, housing, and subsidized coverage through the ACA,
A draft of the proposed rule was shared and it is worse than we imagined - it includes state and local benefits. What does this mean? For example, while federal law bars immigrants who have been here for fewer than 5 years from receiving benefits like Medicaid and food stamp, states like California have used state funds to allow newer immigrants access to such benefits. This proposed rule will put them at risk, even though state dollars are used. Many immigrants, including Vietnamese people, could be affected.
This current draft hasn’t been submitted yet so there could still be changes. We will continue to monitor this and work with a larger national campaign to fight it at every step when it comes out.
The efforts to push this public charge rule change is further evidence that it wasn’t just about undocumented immigrants or those who are so-called criminals. From ending DACA, to deportation of immigrants with past criminal convictions, to now imposing new regulations on lawfully present immigrants - in this Administration’s eyes, no immigrant is “worthy” of being here. More than ever, we must engage our Vietnamese community to understand that an attack on any immigrant community is an attack on all of us.
From our president, Tung Nguyen:
The next front in the war on immigrants is here with an attack on legal immigrations via a new regulation on public charge. This is the idea that one cannot use public assistance if one is an immigrant—this covers food stamps, SNAP, Medicaid some parts of ACA, etc… In the past, public charge was used to either keep potential immigrants out or as a (usually unenforced) threat to keep immigrants who are here from accessing these services. This is the first time in a couple of decades that it will be used to determine for example eligibility for citizenship, or potentially, for deportation.
This regulation if it is implemented will have two effects—one is of course what will happen with our legal immigrant patients on Medicaid. The other is that the fear of the regulation itself will lead to our patients not showing up for care. Additional implications include, for example, pediatric patients who are U.S. citizen being pulled out of healthcare assistance such as Medicaid or CHIP because their parents are fearful.
Please get the word out by sharing the article.
From our president, Tung Nguyen:
“The Securing America’s Future Act would have far-reaching negative effects on economic and labor force growth in the United States, instituting the most severe restriction on legal immigrants since the 1920s.”
Please amplify via all of your social networks, electronic and otherwise—this message must get out so that those who separate themselves because they are “legal” must understand that it is a useless distinction now.
It is very clear that the Republican Party sees the demographic wave swamping them in the next 20 years, and they have doubled down against it by going back in time. This is a losing strategy to bet against demographics. California, which usually leads the nation in this sort of thing, did that in the 1990s, and 20 years later, the Republican Party is irrelevant except for a few House seats (which will continue to fade, if we have any say about this year).
The way we must ensure that they will be confined to history, since that is where they like to live, is to win the 2018 elections. We need to win at least 1 chamber in Congress, to slow this down. But more importantly, we must win it in as many states as we can, because control of the states leads to control of redistricting with the 2020 Census. The long game starts now.