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National Register Flooded With Comments Opposing Public Charge Change

By Rocio Velazquez Kato, Latino Policy Forum Immigration and Policy Analyst

Over 210,000 comments were submitted in the federal register in response to the proposed changes to the Public Charge inadmissibility bar, changes that would affect millions of families but take particular aim at immigrants seeking permanent residency in the United States.

The comments submitted are overwhelmingly in opposition to the proposed changes.

The Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) coalition, of which the Latino Policy Forum is a part of, had a goal of encouraging 100,000 comments nationally, and we more than doubled that. Included in the numerous comments in opposition to the harmful rule, are several state and local official comments, including the City of Chicago and Cook County.

Our national PIF partners are currently combing through all of the submitted comments to identify evidence for future litigation in opposition to the rule change. At this point in the administrative process, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) should be reading through each comment and preparing its response.

Meanwhile, Protecting Immigrant Families- Illinois is gearing up to address the confusion and implementation issues this cruel rule change will generate if and when it is finalized.

Please remember that nothing has changed until the rule is finalized and even then, implementation will not be for another 60 days after the date it is finalized.

The proposed Public Charge test has spread fear and confusion among Americans. The proposal has already had devastating consequences as many families had taken it upon themselves to disenroll from crucial public services out of fear of endangering their chances of gaining legal permanent residency.

Last month, more than 200 people gathered on a chilly evening to hold a candlelight vigil that drew attention to the Public Charge proposal.