Call to Action: Federal Immigration Proposal
Community leaders are mobilizing in response to a proposal from the Trump Administration that would penalize certain immigrants seeking to change their legal status if they receive public benefits or are likely to become a “public charge.”
The proposal would expand the list of public benefits in the “public charge test” to include Medicaid, Medicare Part D subsidies, Section 8 housing, and CalFresh (food subsidies). Under the proposal, this would result in a “heavily weighted negative factor” in reviewing an immigrant’s application.
Reaction & Response
Many people in the immigrant community are reacting out of fear and abandoning their public benefits, including healthcare, housing and nutrition assistance – leaving vulnerable families at risk.
“The Marin County Board of Supervisors is concerned about the effects of this proposal and is committed to supporting residents,” said Damon Connolly, Board President. “We are hearing that these changes will have a chilling effect and deter people from receiving the services they need for their health and wellness.”
“This proposal willfully ignores the other half of the immigration equation – the innovation, determination, and contribution of immigrants. It should be rejected out of hand,” stated Dr. Thomas Peters, President & CEO, Marin Community Foundation.
Although the DHS proposal won’t take effect until after the public comment period closes, Marin Community Clinics and other service providers are finding that clients, many of whom have been misinformed, are currently disenrolling from programs or declining to register for new ones.
“We are concerned,” explained Dr. Mitesh Popat, CEO. “Our priority is to dispel misinformation and ensure our patients receive needed health care services.”
Marin Community Clinics has joined a local Public Charge Working Group to coordinate information gathering and public outreach. Other members include the County of Marin, the Marin County Office of Education, the Marin Community Foundation, First 5, Marin Children and Families Commission.
The Working Group posts public information about the public charge issue online at www.marinhhs.org/public-charge.
Action Needed by December 10!
We encourage you to learn more and submit your comments regarding the impact of these changes. Comments are due by December 10, 2018. Submit by mail to Samantha Deshommes, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20529-2140; letters must reference “DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-0012.”
For more information and to submit online comments, visit www.bit.ly/CAcomments.