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PSESD Public Charge Statement October 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact:
Jessica de Barros
(425) 917-7615 
jdebarros@psesd.org

Renton, WA. - October 18, 2018 - Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) condemns the Trump administration’s proposed new “public charge” regulations, published in the federal register on October 10, 2018.  

The regulations would significantly broaden the “public charge” test, which is already included in immigration law to determine whether people who become citizens might depend on government benefits.  If the federal government deems that someone might become a “public charge,” they can be refused entry to the United States and refused a green card.  The new regulations would require immigration caseworkers to consider a substantial increase of factors when evaluating whether someone is likely to be dependent on public assistance. Currently, cash assistance is only included in this evaluation. However, the new regulations expand programs that must be considered, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), non-emergency Medicaid, housing assistance such as Section 8 vouchers, and Medicare part D. 

“These proposed regulations will force immigrant families to choose between their legal immigration status and their children’s access to basic needs such as food, shelter and health care,” said PSESD Superintendent John Welch:  “The regulations discriminate against immigrants and their children (who are often U.S. citizens) for being low-income, having children, not speaking English, or being diagnosed with a medical condition. Furthermore, the regulations are extremely harmful because they leave parents concerned about enrolling their children in all public services. We want to ensure that all students, including students from our immigrant families, receive the services they need to succeed in school and in life.”

PSESD will be submitting public comment in opposition to the proposed regulations, in partnership with the national Protecting Immigrant Families and statewide Protecting Immigrant Families - Washington coalitions. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is considering public comment through December 10, 2018.  People impacted by the regulations are encouraged to send public comment via the following action center:  https://p2a.co/A519tRc.  Large volumes of public comment can prevent the regulations from becoming law, or amend the regulations to address concerns. Federal officials are required to read and consider how to amend the regulations in response to every piece of public comment. 

“As an agency, we will do everything we can to ensure all children are safe in their schools, as well as amplify the voices of their families and communities,” said Superintendent Welch. “We stand with our immigrant and refugee students and families every day, and we remain in extreme opposition to these proposed regulations.”

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