Manny Aceves is the Chief External Impact Officer for KIPP SoCal Public Schools
On August 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made drastic changes to the public charge rule within federal immigration law, which will take effect on October 15, 2019.
The public charge rule was designed to identify an individual’s dependence on the government as their main source of support. As it stands, an immigration officer who identifies an individual as a “public charge” can be denied admission to the U.S. or lawful permanent residence (i.e., green card status).
The public charge assessment will now consider a person’s age, health, family status, income, resources, education and skills. The expansion of these standards presents further difficulties in the attempt to attain legal status in the U.S. and will result in decreased participation of federal assistance programs that meet basic needs, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Public Housing, Section 8, Cash assistance under SSI, TANF, and other similar programs. This could mean an increase in child poverty, homelessness, hunger, and racial disparity and a decrease in education, health, economic growth, diversity, and prosperous communities.
At KIPP SoCal Public Schools, we believe that the best way to build a strong country is to ensure that the families who live here have the high-quality education, food, medical care, and shelter needed to thrive. Unfortunately, this regulation forces millions of families to choose between the things they need and the people they love. Nobody in our country should live in a shadow. Unfortunately, this policy intends to create an environment that will do just that.
We have always, and will always, support our immigrant families at KIPP SoCal. Our partners, UnidosUS, provide more information and resources here. In addition, we will continue to keep our KIPP SoCal community updated as new information becomes available.