National WIC Association

Washington Update: NWA Website Now Features Immigration Webpage, Additional Resources on Public Charge and ICE Enforcement

July 31, 2018

NWA is launching an Immigration Resources page on its website as a central location for all materials related to public charge, increased ICE enforcement, and other issues related to the intersection of WIC and immigration. NWA will post new resources to this page as they are available, including when the public charge regulation is made available for public comment.

The proposed changes to public charge remain under review at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a process that began in March 2018. NWA met with OMB officials in May 2018 to express concerns about the significant impact that changes to public charge could have on WIC participation and maternal and child health. Once OMB completes its review, the rule will be made available for public comment and WIC agencies will have an opportunity to weigh in on how any adjustment to the regulations would affect clinics and service delivery.

In addition, NWA has received reports of increased presence by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers outside WIC clinics. This unfortunate practice is consistent with increased enforcement activities and only serves to exacerbate an already significant chilling effect on families, further discouraging participants from entering clinics. NWA has not yet heard reports of ICE agents entering a clinic to conduct enforcement actions. In response to member inquiries, NWA has compiled a new resource on responding to the presence of ICE at WIC clinics.

As we await OMB’s decision regarding the public charge rule, please consult the following resources:

Thank you for your continued support for WIC families. Please direct any questions or concerns to Brian Dittmeier.