SNA Submits Comment on Proposed Public Charge Rule


SNA commented on a proposed rule changing the criteria the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) considers to establish whether an immigrant is inadmissible on public charge grounds. Under the proposed change, DHS would consider participation in a number of federal programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as evidence that an applicant for admission, extension of stay, change of status or adjustment of status is inadmissible under section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

In its letter, SNA expressed its opposition to this proposed rule change and concern that it would result in children going hungry during the school day. Though benefits offered through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) are not included in the proposed rule, eligibility for these programs can be established through direct certification of families participating in SNAP. Fear and confusion resulting from the proposed rule could also deter families from submitting applications for free or reduced price meals, and anecdotal reports from school nutrition professionals serving communities with large immigrant populations suggest that families are increasingly hesitant to apply for these critical benefits.

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