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The public charge rule is a cruel attack meant to deny immigrants their human right to health care

(New Haven, Conn.) – Today, the Trump-Pence administration will begin enforcing its public charge rule, a harmful policy designed to keep families separated and to dissuade immigrants from accessing health care and meeting other basic needs. Under this new rule, people could be denied visas, green cards, and entry into the U.S. simply because they have received any one of a broad range of public benefits—such as Medicaid, SNAP, and federal public housing assistance—they are legally allowed to access. The rule, which was set to take effect last October, was blocked by multiple federal lawsuits. On Monday, January 27, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States—in a 5-4 vote—lifted the injunction, allowing the Trump administration to begin enforcement.

Statement from Kafi Rouse, Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England:

“The Trump-Pence administration will use any opportunity to continue to persecute and oppress immigrants—this inhumane rule will punish people for accessing essential benefits and make them afraid to get the health care, housing support, nutrition assistance, and critical social services they need. This is yet another racist, cruel attack on one of our most vulnerable communities. It’s clear that Trump’s policies and hateful rhetoric are meant to encourage prejudice, promote discrimination, and create a toxic culture of fear and xenophobia.

“This rule will deter immigrants from obtaining health care and other social service programs out of fear of retaliation from the Trump administration. Health care is a human right, and we stand with our patients and immigrant communities in Connecticut and Rhode Island to fight back against these harmful policies and protect everyone’s right to live healthy, safe lives. Planned Parenthood of Southern New England will continue to offer reproductive health care to anyone in need—our doors stay open.

“Immigrants and their families already struggle to access essential, basic necessities, including health care. Fear of deportation or family separation will keep people from seeking vital public benefits, which comes at the expense of their well-being. This is unacceptable—no one’s health or safety should be at risk because of their immigration status.”