Statement from the Children’s Defense Fund: Reckless and immoral Public Charge rule will harm millions of children

The Children’s Defense Fund condemns in the strongest possible terms the finalized Department of Homeland Security Public Charge rule announced today. This regulation is reckless, unjust and immoral and will put millions of children at greater risk of hunger, illness and poverty.

The regulation aims to change a century-old immigration rule that would impose harsh new evaluation standards on applicants for Legal Permanent Residency. These new standards equate worth with wealth, imposing an income test and penalizing immigrants for using benefit programs that are designed to help low-income families. An estimated 26 million people will be harmed, and because about 1 in 4 children in America has at least one immigrant parent, that includes millions of children.

This rule is part of a sweeping, government-wide assault on immigrant families that is designed to create a culture of fear and push immigrant communities into the shadows. This culture of fear has already hurt children. Families are withdrawing children who are American citizens from food assistance, health coverage, safe housing and more in order to avoid the threat of family separation.

The Children’s Defense Fund will not stand for this attack on children, immigrants, low-income communities and communities of color. Together with our allies we reject this final rule and will continue to work to keep children and families connected to the critical resources they need to survive and thrive.

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