For immediate release
Rev. Greenaway: ‘The Administration’s proposal is a stunning departure from prior policy, punishing families for the simple crime of yearning for the American dream.’
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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) unveiled a proposed regulation yesterday evening that would greatly expand the public charge test for those applying for legal residency or entry to the United States. The proposed regulation would penalize immigrants who access a wide range of public assistance programs, including Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President and CEO of the National WIC Association, offers the following response:
“The Administration’s proposal is a stunning departure from prior policy, punishing families for the simple crime of yearning for the American dream. There are about 18 million children in this country with at least one immigrant parent – about one in four of all children in the United States. The National WIC Association is deeply concerned with how this radical proposal will harm children by forcing immigrants into an impossible choice between staying with their family and keeping their family healthy. Children will be victims of this reckless and ill-advised proposal.
“The contributions of immigrant families to the American economy and society are clearly not valued by this Administration. After repeated and unsuccessful attempts to impose draconian restrictions on family-based immigration through Congress, it is no surprise that the Administration now turns to the regulatory process as a tool to further target and intimidate immigrant families. Should this proposal become actual policy, families will be left without the resources to afford food, safe shelter, or medical care.
“While WIC is not included in the proposed rule, the Administration asks for public comment on whether additional programs should be considered in public charge determinations. Let’s be clear: There is absolutely no reason to consider WIC participation in immigration decisions. WIC is a time-limited and focused investment that ensures healthy babies and long-term, positive child development. As Congressman Roger Marshall (R-KS) recently said: ‘I will stand beside WIC and say they’ve been a great use of federal dollars.’
“This proposal is contrary to American values. We intend to join a chorus of other public health organizations in expressing our full opposition to DHS in our public comments.”
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