Impacts of Immigration Status Memo
We continue to hear concerns from local agencies and WIC participants about the leaked memo regarding immigration status and public charge. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a draft public charge rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Under this proposed rule, an immigrant’s use of WIC and/or other benefit programs would affect that immigrant’s ability to obtain a visa, green card or legal permanent residency.
The proposed rule has not gone into effect and is not national policy. The Trump administration has not actually proposed the rule yet and only incomplete drafts have been made public. If the administration publishes the rule, the law requires a comment period before the government finalizes the rule. Once comments about the rule are submitted, the review process can take months. Until the rule is finalized, the public charge test remains unaltered and only those benefits received 60 days after the final rule is published will be considered.
WIC wishes to reassure immigrant families that WIC policy has not changed. WIC clinics and agencies do not inquire or collect information about a participant’s immigration or citizenship status. Using benefits now can help you or your family members become healthier and stronger in the future, but families need to make individual determinations based on their unique circumstances.
You can use this online directory to search for local nonprofit organizations that provide legal help and advice: https://www.immigrationlawhelp.org/search?state=CO