National WIC Association

Public Charge’s Effect on WIC Clinics Gaining Increasing Attention

September 4, 2018

Yesterday, the news magazine Politico ran an article on the public charge issue and the chilling effect on WIC clinics that is resulting from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) rumored proposal to expand the public charge test, which would penalize immigrant families for accessing WIC services and other federal benefit programs. Politico’s reporting accurately reflects the concerns that NWA has heard from local agencies and participants for the past year.

Rev. Douglas Greenaway, NWA’s president and CEO, is quoted in the article. NWA worked closely with the reporter of the article to elevate the stories that we heard from agencies willing to speak out on this issue.

Should public charge rulemaking move forward, it will have a profound effect on both WIC agencies and the families that we all serve. In order to inform NWA’s advocacy and provide an accurate view of the effect on WIC families, it is important that you continue to share new concerns or impacts on your clinic through NWA’s survey.

Politico’s reporting echoes a number of new articles on the upcoming rulemaking. As of today, NWA has no new information regarding the timing of any formal rulemaking process. The proposed rule remains under review at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where it has been since late March 2018. With increased media interest in this topic, you may receive new questions on this subject from participants who are hearing from both national media and in-language news sources. Please consult NWA’s Immigration Resources web page for NWA-prepared documents that could be helpful in the clinics. This website will be updated with new resources if the public charge rulemaking moves forward, including template comments so that your agency can provide feedback directly to DHS.

NWA will provide updates for members on the issue of public charge as soon as new information is available. Thank you for your continued dedication to serving all eligible families.