AASA Joins Groups in Letter Supporting Biden Admin New Public Charge Rule

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AASA Joins Groups in Letter Supporting Biden Admin New Public Charge Rule

After the Biden Administration announced it would take steps to rectify the harm to children in immigrant families created by the Trump Administration’s previous public charge rule, AASA joined 110 children’s advocacy and child-serving organizations in support of the Biden Administration’s new proposed rule on public charge. The new proposed rule corrects the gravest errors of the 2019 rule and would be a critical step to securing the health and wellbeing of millions of children in immigrant families.

The 2019 rule’s harm on children was largely due to its inclusion of non-cash benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), housing and health insurance, all of which can significantly improve children’s health and ability to learn, and we support DHS removing these benefits from a public charge consideration. We support the proposed rule’s narrow definition of what constitutes “receipt” of countable public benefits, which explicitly excludes adults who have applied for benefits on behalf of their children or whose children are currently receiving benefits. Making it clear that it is safe to apply for and receive health care, nutrition assistance and other assistance on behalf of children without public charge consequences, will help DHS achieve its goal of establishing a rule that does not cause undue fear or confusion and that mitigates the documented chilling effect that has harmed millions of children.

Finally, we recommend that DHS establish a presumption that children are not a public charge and that the use of benefits by a child does not indicate their likelihood to be a future public charge.