Statement attributed to Luis Guardia, president, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
WASHINGTON, February 28, 2022 — The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) commends the Biden administration for the new public charge proposed rule that will provide confirmation to immigrant families that all who are eligible can safely access and benefit from federal nutrition programs without negative repercussions to their immigration status.
Hunger in this country has spiked dramatically as a result of the public health and economic fallout of COVID-19, and things would be far worse if not for federal nutrition programs. As the nation continues to recover from the pandemic, the Biden administration is signaling its commitment to ensuring that eligible immigrant families in need are able to benefit from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, and housing assistance.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) proposed rule, published in the Federal Register on February 24, 2022, seeks to more permanently replace the Trump administration’s draconian and overly complex public charge rules that cast a chilling effect of fear among eligible immigrant families who needed to access much-needed nutrition assistance. FRAC has long called for measures to address the harmful impact left behind by the 2019 Trump administration. DHS will accept comments on the proposed rule change now until April 25.
While in March 2021, the Biden administration stopped applying the Trump-era rule. This action is essential to create regulations that will provide a more equitable long-term policy.
Federal nutrition programs have proven to be effective in improving the nutrition, health, and well-being of families from around the country throughout the pandemic, and these programs will continue to play an essential role in our nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is a step in the right direction toward permanently replacing the harmful rule, protecting families, and expanding access to proven programs as the nation recovers from the economic and health crisis brought about by the pandemic.
FRAC looks forward to working with the administration as it works to ensure immigrant families have access to vital nutrition, health, and housing programs.
The Food Research & Action Center is the leading national nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the United States. To learn more, visit FRAC.org and follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.