September 24, 2018

Administration's Draft Rule Would Hurt Families and Communities Across the Country

This post was last updated on December 8, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Immigrants are our friends, neighbors, family members and work colleagues, and they have made invaluable contributions to our communities. But the Administration’s draft rule would make using critical health and poverty-reduction programs a disqualifier for immigration, putting millions of families at risk.

The draft rule would greatly expand the definition of ‘public charge,’ which currently only applies to cash assistance and government-funded institutionalization, to include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy, housing assistance and non-emergency Medicaid, with limited exceptions.

This is yet another example of the Administration prioritizing the wealthy, pushing struggling families deeper into poverty and increasing unmet medical needs and food insecurity within our communities.

The draft rule, if enacted, would hurt Florida families and families across the U.S. Once the proposed regulation is published in the Federal Register, the Florida Policy Institute will be submitting comments to the Department of Homeland Security detailing the irreparable harm that this rule would cause.

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