This afternoon, the U.S. Department of Health announced the final draft of a regulation which will expand the definition of a ‘public charge’ under U.S. immigration law to include recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. This change is expected to impact more than 10.3 million immigrants and their families who are struggling to keep food on the table nationwide. Under the final rule, SNAP recipients who fall into this category could be barred from obtaining permanent, legal status and sponsoring family members who wish to enter the U.S.; they will also face a higher risk of deportation.
In response to this announcement, Feeding Louisiana’s Executive Director, Korey Patty, said: “The public charge rule published by the administration brings into consideration for the first time a person’s utilization of SNAP in determining immigration case outcomes. For many low-income immigrant families, the new rule means accessing the vital nutrition assistance provided through the nation’s first line of defense against hunger could jeopardize their ability to gain long-term legal status. Quite simply, this rule will increase food insecurity in immigrant communities in Louisiana and across the country.”
Choosing to apply for SNAP benefits is already a difficult, personal, choice for many individuals and families; under this new regulation, applying for SNAP benefits to will also become a risk for properly documented immigrants seeking permanent status. Alongside any U.S. citizen, these properly documented immigrants are legally entitled to public benefits which can help them to stay afloat during hard times.
Feeding Louisiana and our member food banks work every day on the front lines of hunger to provide food and resources to any individual in need, regardless of race, religion, citizenship, disability, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other criteria. We oppose any action which will block or prevent any member of our community from receiving essential services when they are in need. As a network we believe that no person should have to go to bed hungry and we will continue to providing food to all families and individuals in need across Louisiana. If you or someone you know is struggling with hunger please contact your nearest food bank here: https://www.feedinglouisiana.org/our-members
Feeding Louisiana provides a unified voice for Louisiana's hungry by providing short-term food relief while seeking long-term solutions to hunger through advocacy, education, and leadership. Feeding Louisiana is made up of the five Feeding America member food banks in Louisiana, serving all 64 parishes through a network of more than 900 community and faith-based organizations.
Media Inquiries: Please contact Korey Patty at firstname.lastname@example.org