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August 12, 2019

How will Trump’s new 'public charge' rule affect immigrants in Florida? [Miami Herald]

This post was last updated on September 10, 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.

Monique Madan of the Miami Herald writes:

"Green cards and visas will soon be denied to low-income immigrants who get — or will one day need — public assistance benefits like food stamps, housing vouchers, Supplemental Social Security Income and Medicaid, despite their having entered the U.S. legally, the Trump administration announced Monday.

The government’s move to redefine and expand its definition of a “public charge”— someone who is considered to be primarily dependent on the government and a financial burden to the U.S. — is one of the administration’s most aggressive strides yet to limit legal immigration.

...

'What the rule does is if you’re a family that’s low-income, it starts you off at a huge disadvantage,' said Anne Swerlick of the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added]. 'It discriminates against immigrant families who are of lower income and makes it extremely difficult for people applying for green cards and various types of visas. This fundamentally changes the U.S.’s approach to immigration, making family income and potential use of health care, nutrition or housing programs a central consideration in whether or not to offer people an opportunity to make their lives in this country.'"

Read more on miamiherald.com

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