CDF-NY Statement on Public Charge

August 13, 2019 | New York

The relentless, immoral assault on immigrant children and families by this Administration continues. The  Department of Homeland Security Public Charge rule announced today and finalized on Wednesday will further threaten the health and well-being of these families, subjecting them to increased risk of poverty, hunger and a lack basic health care. It is designed to punish immigrant families who obtain basic life sustaining health care coverage, food assistance or housing assistance, even when their American citizen children are in need and qualify for these benefits.

In New York State alone, approximately 1.5 million children live in hard working immigrant families struggling to make ends meet, and most are U.S. citizens. The benefits they stand to lose might be all that remains between them and not having food on the table or the ability to take children to a doctor when they are sick. And even more alarming is how the harsh new evaluation standards for Legal Permanent Residency impose a wealth test to discriminate against lower income immigrants and to penalize immigrant families who use benefit programs designed to help low-income families.

This is but one of the many morally repugnant policies advanced to inflict harm and instill a sense of fear in immigrant communities. The Children’s Defense Fund – New York condemns this harsh and inhumane treatment of these children and their families, as it is yet another attack on immigrant families, following the inhumane separation of children from their parents, the imprisonment of children, the rescindment of DACA, and prioritization of arrests, detention, and deportation. Our immigrant families and their children have suffered enough and we vow to continue to oppose these egregious policies and tactics that are designed to instill fear, disrupt families and deprive those in need of basic necessities, while creating barriers to any reasonable path to citizenship.

In solidarity,

Naomi Post
Executive Director