Statement on Public Charge Rule Change

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BOSTON – November 19, 2018 – The Trump administration recently proposed a new public charge rule that would force millions of legal immigrant families to make an impossible choice between feeding their children and risking their immigration status.

This deeply troubling proposal would make it harder for immigrant families to access nutrition, health, and human services programs that are essential to our nation’s health and well-being.

The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) strongly opposes this new rule. GBFB is committed to being there every day for all those struggling with hunger in Eastern Massachusetts, especially the most vulnerable among us—children, seniors and immigrants.

The proposed rule unnecessarily expands the definition of who could be deemed a public charge—changing it from a person likely to become primarily dependent on benefits to one who simply receives one or more public benefits.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), our nation’s first line of defense against hunger, is included as a public benefit that could trigger this new rule.

This creates another hurdle in the fight to end hunger and undercut efforts to address food insecurity and poverty across the country. Accessing food assistance should not threaten an individual’s lawful residency or citizenship.

This proposal has already created fear and confusion among immigrant communities and may dissuade many–regardless of whether they are impacted by the rule–from seeking food assistance of any kind.

We believe hunger is a non-partisan issue, and no one in our country should ever go hungry.

Please join us and other advocates across Massachusetts in supporting our immigrant neighbors by opposing this harmful rule and sending formal comments urging the Trump administration to rescind this new policy by December 10.

If you have any questions, please contact Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Catherine Drennan, at cdrennan@gbfb.org.

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