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.