86th Annual Meeting

Opposition to Proposed Changes to the "Public Charge" Rules Affecting Immigrants

  • WHEREAS, the United States of America was created as a nation of immigrants; and

    WHEREAS, immigrants are essential contributors to American communities and to the American economy, contributing a larger share of economic output than their share of the population; and

    WHEREAS, federal, state and local governments provide a range of non-cash benefits that are means-tested and are designed to improve the health, safety and education of residents, including children; these programs include Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Affordable Care Act (ACA) premium tax credits, the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) nutrition program, public housing assistance, means-tested energy benefits, and the Earned Income Tax Credit; and

    WHEREAS, these programs are designed to provide critical assistance to help families stabilize and succeed, and avoid costly crisis aid; and

    WHEREAS, the federal government is considering changes to its "public charge"? rules to include an expanded list of public benefit programs that would classify an individual as a "public charge"?; and

    WHEREAS, the federal government's changes to its "public charge"? would discourage benefit use among most immigrants for all means-tested federal, state or local programs; and

    WHEREAS, such changes would punish families, including the citizen children of immigrants, for using benefits that they are entitled to; and

    WHEREAS, such changes would cause dramatic disenrollment from public benefits, causing disruption in the lives of millions, and local economies across the country; and

    WHEREAS, federalism concerns are created because such changes interfere with localities' ability to offer means-tested programs to their residents; and

    WHEREAS, such changes raise concerns of an unfunded mandate and would create administrative costs and burdens on cities; and

    WHEREAS, the federal government has not adequately examined the potential impact such changes would have on families, and the significant economic impact such changes would have on cites,
    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors calls on the Administration to drop any expansion to the "public charge"? rule that will punish immigrants for accessing non-cash benefits that are designed to help families succeed and thrive in the United States, becoming contributing members of our communities, as they have for generations.

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