NLIHC is urging advocates to support needed public charge rule reforms by signing on to a letter to the Biden administration by the Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) campaign. The letter urges the administration to act quickly to finalize responsible reforms that protect immigrant families’ access to safety net programs, including public housing and Housing Choice Vouchers. Advocates have until the end of Thursday, April 21, to sign on to the letter.
The letter asserts that the public charge test is “an antiquated policy reflecting centuries of racial and class bias” and urges the Biden administration to finalize public charge reform to assure eligible immigrant families that they can use safety net programs without immigration concerns. The letter urges the U.S. Department of Human Services to make specific improvements as well, including (1) ensuring that state and local programs such as universal basic income programs are not considered in public charge determinations; (2) clarifying that Medicaid is never considered in public charge determinations; and (3) exempting orphans, domestic violence survivors, victims of other crimes, and other vulnerable immigrants from public charge determinations. Further information about the letter and the PIF campaign can be found on the website of Keep Families Together, a shared initiative of the National Housing Law Project.
As of April 14, 270 organizations had signed on to the letter. Advocates can determine whether organizations in their states have signed on via a sign-on comment tracker. NLIHC also encourages states and localities to submit public comments that cite data indicating the harm caused to their constituents by changes to the public charge policy enacted in 2019. Individuals can sign a separate petition – available in nine languages – in support of the proposed rule. Like the letter, the deadline to sign the petition is April 21. The deadline for individuals or local governments to submit comments to the Federal Register is April 25.
Read the organizational sign-on letter at: https://bit.ly/37wcc8k
Explore a toolkit with tips and sample language for state and local agencies preparing to submit comments at: https://bit.ly/3DSabPN
Read the public petition at: https://bit.ly/3JhnZ7t
Read more about public charge on page 6-57 of NLIHC’s Advocates’ Guide 2022.