Alexandria, Va. (Dec. 4, 2018) –Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) joined the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) today in filing comments that call upon the Administration to withdraw its proposed revisions to the “public charge” rule. CCUSA and USCCB strongly urge the Department of Homeland Security to abandon the proposed rule and return to the current and longstanding interpretation of public charge.
Public charge refers to one factor considered in the process of admitting individuals into the United States or allowing immigrants to adjust their status and become a lawful permanent resident. For many years the public charge analysis focused on the receipt of public cash assistance or long-term hospitalization, or similar care, which made an individual financially dependent on the government. Food and housing assistance were not considered.
The proposed revision seeks to expand the public benefits – and the number of individuals – considered in the public charge analysis, including many new programs. The effect of the proposed rule will dramatically change the process of legal migration and make it increasingly difficult for low-income and working class individuals to legally migrate to the United States.
The comments filed today highlight six key reasons why CCUSA and USCCB are opposed to the proposed public charge rule:
1. The rule will undermine family unity and stability.
2. The rule will harm low-income and working-class families.
3. The rule will have a negative impact on the social safety net.
4. The rule will have severe consequences for public health and is detrimental to larger families.
5. The rule proposes a definition of “public charge” and “public benefit” that is arbitrary and will make people less self-sufficient.
6. The rule proposes a public charge scheme that will create grounds to deny virtually every immigration application.
To read the full comments submitted by CCUSA and USCCB, click here.
Patricia Cole, VP Communications
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Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), a member of Caritas Internationalis, is the national office for the Catholic Charities ministry nationwide. CCUSA’s members provide help and create hope to more than 10 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds.