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NHLP Condemns Implementation of Public Charge Rule

WASHINGTON, DC/SAN FRANCISCO – On January 27, 2020, the Supreme Court granted the Trump administration’s request to lift a nationwide injunction allowing the “Public Charge” rule’s implementation awaiting other court rulings.  The rule, finalized by the Department of Homeland Security last August, will penalize low- and moderate-income immigrant families based on a prediction that they may use certain federal benefits in the future. The rule will also affect immigrant families that use or qualify for federal housing assistance. The National Housing Law Project (NHLP) worked closely with its partners on the Protecting Immigrant Families campaign opposing this rule, and has several resources on the housing impact of the public charge rule.

“The National Housing Law Project strongly condemns the implementation of the Public Charge rule,” said Shamus Roller, executive director of NHLP.  “This is part of a trend by this administration—a trend of racist, anti-immigrant policies seeking to undo decades of basic civil and human rights policies and laws. Elected officials at all levels must publicly call on the Administration to rescind the Public Charge rule.”

This rule is one of several that the Trump administration is using to undermine decades of civil rights law and policies.  Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a proposed “affirmatively furthering fair housing” rule and, last year, a “disparate impact” rule, both of which attempt to eliminate the core intent of the federal Fair Housing Act.

“This nation is in a housing and homelessness crisis and the Public Charge rule will only make it worse by eliminating basic human decency and dignity,” continued Roller. “It is simply impractical, dangerous, and un-American to penalize immigrants for accessing critical, lifesaving benefits, such as housing assistance. Federal housing assistance allows families to access and maintain safe, affordable, and stable housing that helps them thrive.”

The National Housing Law Project stands united with our partners against the Public Charge rule, which will force immigrants and their families to forego critical assistance, placing millions of families at risk of homelessness.

Contact:  Deidre Swesnik dswesnik@nhlp.org