November 28, 2018 – No family should have to decide between putting food on the table and securing long-term stability for themselves and their families. But that’s what will happen if a new rule proposed by the Department of Homeland Security becomes law.

Known as “public charge,” the proposed rule changes the way immigrants are evaluated when applying for Legal Permanent Status (LPR, or “green cards”). The use of public benefits would be a strike against them in their LPR application, serving as a strong deterrent for immigrants to access vital services for which they are eligible, such as SNAP (formerly food stamps), housing vouchers and rental assistance, and even some health care programs.

This ruling is an unnecessary attempt to further criminalize poverty, hunger, and immigrant families – particularly immigrants of color.

Worse yet, this proposed change has already started to create fear and confusion in Oregon. We’ve heard first hand from food pantries like AWARE in Woodburn, Oregon, that “…the current levels of fear experienced by the immigrant communities means that folks who need food assistance don’t feel safe getting it.”

At Oregon Food Bank, we believe that everyone should be able to meet their basic needs, regardless of race, sexual orientation, income, physical condition, or citizenship status. We stand with immigrant communities in Oregon and oppose this proposed ruling. Will you stand with us? We have the opportunity to voice our opposition to this rule change by submitting public comments to the Department of Homeland Security.

On behalf of everyone experiencing hunger in our community, and especially on behalf of our most vulnerable neighbors, we urge you to submit a comment to the Department of Homeland Security.

Comments can be submitted here, or sent by mail to:

Samantha Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination
Division Office of Policy and Strategy
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Department of Homeland Security
20 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20529-2140

You must include your first and last name and the docket number: DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-0012.

Comments must be postmarked by December 10, 2018.