LOS ANGELES ― In response to the Trump Administration’s amended public charge rule assaulting the most American of values ― families ― Mayor Eric Garcetti and Supervisor Hilda Solis called on Angelenos to send public comment to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen through the public register.
“America is about giving everyone a chance to lift themselves up, take care of their families, and chase their dreams — and our government should never be in the business of punishing people who may need a little help making sure their kids are safe, fed, and have a roof over their heads,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Creating fear and targeting legal immigrants who follow the rules does nothing to increase our security or strengthen our economy — it is nothing less than a public disgrace.”
“LA County is the safety net of last resort for many children and families. We are doing everything possible to stop this proposed rule from being enacted,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis said. “Last week the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved my action to oppose these changes and develop a Countywide response and education campaign. I encourage everyone to voice their opposition during the 60-day comment period by submitting an online comment. We must stand with our most vulnerable residents and reject this misguided and un-American proposal.”
To coincide with the start of the public comment period, the Mayor’s Office today launched a website — lamayor.org/StrongFamiliesLA — which helps concerned individuals share their comments, experiences and stories with the Department of Homeland Security as Washington weighs potential revisions to the rule.
Under the proposed policy, any documented immigrant applying for Legal Permanent Residence or a visa could be rejected if their family uses public benefits including essential services like health care, housing assistance, food aid, and major tax credits created to strengthen middle-income families and children.
Flanked by child and health advocates, Mayor Garcetti and Supervisor Solis described the adverse impact the rule could have on communities and our economy:
- In Los Angeles County, more than 1 million immigrants currently receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), MediCal, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Section 8 benefits;
- If 25% of immigrant households in LA County forgo benefits, the estimated annual cost to the local economy would be more than $54 million for SNAP (CalFresh) and more than $8.4 million in TANF (CalWORKs); and
- For the 8,050 immigrants receiving Section 8 benefits in the City of Los Angeles, a revision to the policy runs the risk of pushing thousands of families into homelessness.
As the author of a resolution by the Los Angeles City Council to oppose the administration's proposed rule change, Councilwoman Nury Martinez stated:
“The Department of Homeland Security's proposed rule would have a devastating impact on the well-being of children and families in Los Angeles by punishing immigrants for providing food to their families, and who lawfully receive other public services. It will also dissuade immigrants to file legal paperwork, because their permanent residency will be on the line. This is why yesterday I was proud to introduce this resolution.”