Young Center Defends Immigrant Families’ Access to Vital Government Programs

b&w kids walking.jpg

Last month, the Young Center joined more than 216,000 organizations and individuals to oppose a new government effort to limit children’s access to essential government programs. In September, the Department of Homeland Security announced new rules that would penalize adult immigrants applying for permanent status in the United States if they or their family members used certain public benefits. This penalty is known as the “public charge rule”. The new rules will now consider an immigrant’s use of essential public health benefits, including Medicaid, nutritional assistance, and housing assistance—all benefits that immigrant parents and families are permitted to use—in considering whether that person is likely to become a “public charge” and therefore ineligible for permanent immigration status.

In a December 10, 2018 comment submitted to the federal government, the Young Center argued that the new rules have already discouraged immigrant families from accessing vital health, housing and educational services for which their children are eligible. We know that impact will only worsen over time, to the detriment of children’s safety and well-being. We are grateful to the Young Center’s supporters and partners who submitted their own comments objecting to a policy that puts politics above children. In the coming year, we will continue to fight to ensure that children have access to the programs that promote their health, well-being, and future economic security.

Maddie Witters