Please find the Public Charge comment letter the Network submitted on Friday, December 7th, to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which has jurisdiction over this matter. This issue has been a major concern for the Network and many of our member agencies over the past several months. The proposed “Public Charge” rule would fundamentally change our country’s immigration system. It would punish immigrants going through official immigration processes and their families for applying for or receiving benefits for which they are legally eligible. This rule would attack our collective work across the board – using health, anti-poverty, anti-hunger, and affordable housing programs as disqualifiers for immigration for many people, putting millions of families at risk.
As of this morning, over 189,100 comments regarding the Public Charge have been submitted. That number is expected to rise as the comment period closes today (Monday, December 10th). Under federal law, the government is required to read and respond to every unique comment before issuing a final rule.
With guidance from our partners at the Jewish Federations of North America’s Strategic Health Resource Center, the Network’s comment letter was comprehensive and thoughtful regarding this matter and what is at stake for the vulnerable that we serve, as well as the workforce. Both of these populations will be impacted should the proposed rule go into effect.
When we approach this issue with the historical context of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution being denied refuge under the guise that they’d be a “public charge” on society, we are keenly aware of the importance of speaking out and are grateful to each and every one of our member agencies for making your voice heard on this cruel and harmful rule.