Anti-Poverty Activists Respond to Supreme Court Order on “Public Charge” Rule


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Nicole Aber, (646) 627-7741          

Anti-Poverty Activists Respond to Supreme Court Order on “Public Charge” Rule

Anti-Hunger Leader Says Rule “Will Increase Poverty and the Worst Symptoms of Poverty”

The Supreme Court ruled today to allow the Trump Administration’s regulation that would make it harder for legal immigrants to become permanent residents if they use public benefits to go into effect. The regulation expands the definition of a “public charge” to include reliance on Medicaid, public housing, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, a nationwide direct service and advocacy organization, released this statement in response:

“It is simply cruel to deny food and other life-saving aid to immigrant children and their parents who are in the country legally. Immigrants often perform the nation’s hardest, lowest-paid, and most dangerous work, including constructing our buildings, picking our food, and caring for our children. Instead of giving this population a small amount of assistance as they work their way out of poverty, this rule will increase poverty and the worst symptoms of poverty including hunger, homelessness, and early deaths.

Census data proves that immigrants who are able to become naturalized citizens of the U.S. have, on average, lower poverty rates and higher income than native-born Americans. Therefore, this policy is counter-productive and will make it more difficult for immigrants to enter the nation’s economic mainstream.

President Trump’s administration has implied that non-profit groups, such as Hunger Free America, will be able to pick up the slack. That’s impossible. Many Americans – particularly middle and low-income ones – already donate very generously to fund anti-poverty work, but all the charitable efforts in the nation won’t be able to fill the vast gap left by the federal government as a result of this rule.

We as a nation should be better than this horrid regulation.”