Protect Immigrant Families: ISNA Stands Against Proposed Changes to Public Charge

Protect Immigrant Families: ISNA Stands Against Proposed Changes to Public Charge

On October 10, the Federal Register officially published a proposed policy change that could dramatically affect low-income immigrants’ pathways to residency and citizenship. By redefining a legal concept called “public charge,” the new rule would effectively penalize immigrants for using health care, housing, and nutrition assistance programs. Families would be forced to choose between their immediate needs for food and shelter, and their long-term aspirations to stay in the United States as citizens. The rule was drafted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at the direction of the Trump administration.

The Islamic Society of North America staunchly opposes the proposed change as an affront to both American and Muslim values. As Muslims, we believe that our lives are defined by our piety, just actions, hard work, and dedication to the community — not by how much money we have. The new regulations promoted by the Trump administration would ensure that only wealthy immigrants can afford to build a future in the United States. Low-income immigrants will be compelled to opt-out of important social services out of fear that it could jeopardize their future in the United States; the proposed regulations therefore effectively take away health care, housing assistance, and food assistance from needy families.

According to government procedure, US citizens and organizations now have 60 days to submit comments rejecting these changes to the public charge rule. The government is required to read and respond to our comments before implementing the new regulations. Please join ISNA in submitting a comment through this user-friendly website created by the organization Protecting Immigrant Families: https://protectingimmigrantfamilies.org/#take-action-form