Press Release: FHJP opposes Supreme Court's lift of nationwide court orders that had blocked the Trump administration from implementing its new public charge rule
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 29, 2020
Contact: Matt Childers, (619) 807-1724, firstname.lastname@example.org
Miami, FL--Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court lifted nationwide court orders that had blocked the Trump administration from implementing its new public charge rule. The administration may now put its anti-immigrant wealth test into effect. While this regulation only directly affects a small number of people, it has sowed fear and confusion among the immigrant community at large. Even immigrants who are citizens or otherwise lawfully present have become afraid to enroll their children in public assistance programs because they fear losing their legal status, or worse, deportation. Florida will be among the states that are hardest hit, where the new rule’s chilling effect could lead to over 100,000 U.S.-born children with an immigrant parent losing access to health insurance and over 82,000 losing access to SNAP benefits. Over half of them live in greater Miami. Almost 30% reside in Miami-Dade County.
“The public charge rule will cause tens of thousands of children across Florida to lose access to vital medical and nutritional assistance programs because their families are being made to feel like they must choose between the things they need and the people they love. It has created a massive chilling effect in our immigrant communities because the regulation is very technical and not easy to process, even for people who follow immigration policy closely,” said Dr. Matt Childers, Director of Research and Policy at Florida Health Justice Project.
The final regulation puts a visa or green card applicant at risk of having their application denied if their income falls below 125% of the federal poverty level ($32,188 per year for a family of four) or if they use Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly “Food Stamps”) or “Section 8” rent vouchers. Citizenship applications are not subject to the “public charge” regulation, and refugees, asylees, and other immigration statuses are also exempt. Conservative estimates peg the regulation’s impact at 26 million people nationwide.