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STATEMENT ON PUBLIC CHARGE EXECUTIVE ORDER
Today, XXXX, President Trump signed another devastating executive order that will endanger the lives of vulnerable immigrants and families, including U.S. citizen children. The provisions in this executive order threaten millions of children with hunger and food insecurity, drive taxpaying immigrant families deeper into poverty, and discourage immigrants from accessing lifesaving health care services, potentially resulting in preventable illness or death. In addition to violating core American values, the order is counter to the nation’s best interests, since it would place basic health and nutrition at risk and drive up child poverty, with more than one quarter of children living in immigrant families.
The executive order proposes to chill access to critical programs that can help taxpaying immigrants and their families gain access to health care, food, and other essential needs. This order slams the door in the face of our most vulnerable citizens – children – at a time when they need it most. The order seeks to vastly expand the definition of what constitutes a “public charge” under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Under long-standing federal policy, receiving cash assistance can be taken into account as one of many factors determining whether a non-citizen seeking entry or lawful permanent residence will be able to support themselves in the future. However, this new order would potentially reverse nearly a century of policy guidelines and expand “public charge” to include basic programs that have been excluded, such as children’s nutrition and health care, disaster relief, and immunizations – all of which are fundamental needs that are essential to being a good parent and a good resident of the community.
We, the undersigned, strongly oppose this order, which threatens the entire health care and safety net system that helps all of us, including immigrants, be healthy, productive and successful members of America’s communities and families.