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New Proposed "Public Charge" Rule Will Harm Families: Comment today!

On October 10, 2018, the Trump Administration proposed regulations that would put the health and wellbeing of millions of families at risk. If the Inadmissability on Public Charge Grounds rule is finalized in its proposed form, this would mark a significant and harmful departure from long-standing immigration policy. The proposal would make and has already made immigrant families afraid to seek programs that support their basic needs, such as Link/SNAP benefits (which we accept at all our Winter Farmers Markets). These programs help them stay strong and productive and raise children who thrive. With about one in four children having at least one immigrant parent, this issue touches millions and is critical now and four our nation's future.

Proposed changes to the Public Charge Rule

The public has until December 10, 2018, to tell them why this rule is a bad idea by submitting comments through an official “notice and comment” period. We need your strong support because the stakes are high. If we want our communities to thrive, everyone in those communities must be able to stay together and get the care, services, and support they need to be healthy and productive.

We must tell President Trump we will not stand by while he attempts to punish families for putting food on the table. For more information please go to Protecting Immigrant Families.

Why does this matter to Faith in Place? Immigrant families are at grave risk of being separated. As people of faith, we hold strong to values that immigrants and refugees need to be welcomed with open arms, not with more barriers imposed by DHS.

At Faith in Place, we celebrate the beauty of migration with people of faith across the state through our Migration & Me program. The Monarch butterfly and other species remind us that migration is natural and beautiful.

Those who migrate are resilient and strong. Sharing our stories of migration helps us connect with one another and realize the similarities and beauty in each of our stories. Humans, animals, and insects alike all migrate to have a better life for themselves and future generations. Actions that harm the wellbeing of immigrants harm all of us, as we are all interconnected.

La Migración es Hermosa. Migration is beautiful.

In the words of Rev. Michael Crosby, Pastor of First Mennonite Church of Champaign-Urbana and Faith in Place Board Member, "For Christians, care for immigrants and refugees is paramount. As a young boy, Jesus fled the violence in his home country, finding refuge in a foreign place, dependent on the hospitality of strange people and unknown policies. Shall we not welcome him and his family with warm beds, nutritious food, medical care, and a safe home?"

“My faith calls me to not stay silent when injustices are occurring to any community. In this case, the expansion of the criteria for the public charge affects my community directly."

"As a daughter of immigrant parents, I cannot stand idly while immigrant and refugee families are at risk of being separated. When families are pushed back into the shadows, they're not able to access the proper public health care for themselves and their children, among other programs While families are pushed back into the shadows not accessing the proper public health care for themselves and their children among other programs.” Celeste Flores, Lake County Outreach Director.

Your voice is needed. As people of faith, we must take a stand with our siblings of all faiths and no faith. It is critical that during the comment period we weigh in and fight back. Federal law requires that the government read and consider every unique comment before issuing a final rule. They must also respond to each unique comment submitted before issuing the final rule.

How do you submit a comment?

The best way to comment is to go online to the federal public charge comment portal at Click on “Comment Now” and either enter your comment in the text (must be fewer than 5000 characters) or upload your comment as a PDF.

A screenshot of the comment form for the proposed changes to the Public Charge Rule
A screenshot of the comment form for the proposed changes to the Public Charge Rule

You can also summit a comment through Protecting Immigrant Families’ portal.

*We strongly encourage you to edit the text in the comment box and use your own words.

Your comments should explain how taking away the ability to use these public services would harm you, your family, or your community. If you do not want to include any personal information, a friend or representative can submit a comment for you.

Sample language:

The Department of Homeland Security’s public charge proposed rule runs counter to our nation’s most fundamental values and I write today to strongly oppose it. As a person of faith, I strongly support welcoming immigrants with love, dignity, equality and respect.This policy will devastate all our communities by making immigrants and their family members afraid to access essential health, nutrition, and shelter programs. Immigrant communities, long the target of attacks by Trump, will now live in fear of seeking supports they need -- regardless of whether they are actually subject to the “public charge” test.

The Trump Administration should immediately withdraw its proposal and instead advance policies that strengthen—rather than undermine—the ability for our communities to thrive. How you live your life and contribute to your community should define you in this country, not how you look or how much money you have.

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