Take Action: Stop Threat to Immigrant Survivors
Everyone in our communities should be able to live without fear of domestic violence and sexual assault. But when it happens, access to health care, housing, food assistance, and other supports play a pivotal role in helping victims escape and overcome abuse. A new, extreme “public charge” proposal by the administration would mark a significant and harmful departure from a longstanding policy in which the government has recognized that these help families thrive and remain safe and productive. Without sufficient resources, victims are either compelled back into an abusive relationship, or face destitution and homelessness.
Due to concerns about the impact of public charge on them and their families, many immigrant victims are starting to avoid obtaining critical benefits such as food stamps and children’s health insurance. We’ll see the costs of dropping critical benefits in long-term health consequences from unmitigated injury and trauma that will impact survivors, their families, and the broader community.
The good news? The public charge rule is currently a proposal and not yet in place. And the Alliance for Immigrant Survivors (AIS) is part of an amazing campaign, Protecting Immigrant Families, that is harnessing the collective power of hundreds of leaders and organizations across the country to generate tens of thousands of public comments. Since the long-anticipated regulation was published in the Federal Register on October 10, the public has 60 days (October 10-December 10, 2018) to provide feedback on the impact the proposed rule will have on our families and communities. Join us in opposition to this harmful proposal by lifting your voice and submitting your public comment today!
How to Submit Your Comment
The administration is required by law to review and respond to every unique public comment they receive about the proposed regulation. We’ve drafted some sample comments for you and strongly encourage you to edit the text using your own words and stories since the government keeps track of unique comments.
Download or copy/paste one of our sample comments:
For drafting detailed comments: Public Charge comments template specific to domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. You can find and download - Google Doc / Word / PDF
For drafting concise comments: Sample Public Charge comments related to domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. Text is below and you can also find and download - Google Doc
On behalf of [NAME of coalition/organization/agency], we are submitting comments to express our strong opposition to the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed “public charge” rule.
The proposed public charge rule will harm immigrant survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their ability to obtain and maintain safety as a result of abuse. The public charge rule will punish survivors of gender-based violence for the violence they’ve experienced by forcing them to choose between reuniting with loved ones and utilizing safety net benefits - including food, housing, and healthcare assistance - that are crucial to survivors’ ability to escape or recover from abuse and trauma. The proposed changes to the public charge rule therefore threatens to isolate survivors from their families and vital systems of support and will discourage survivors from seeking or using benefits available to them, undermining and prolonging a survivor’s recovery process.
The proposed public charge rule represents an extreme change in current policy and will have a detrimental impact on survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. We strongly oppose any change to the public charge rule that will make it more difficult for survivors of violence to access critical protections they need to escape or recover from abuse.
Edit these comments as you wish to personalize them and make them unique.
Visit www.regulations.gov, scroll down to “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds,” click on the blue “Comment Now!” button, and then copy/paste your comments in the large text box or upload your comments as a PDF.
Contact us if you have any questions or problems.
Some commenting tips:
The administration is requiring that all comments be submitted in English.
Ideally, your comments explain how this rule change will harm immigrant survivors, which could include you, your family, or your community.
If you do not want to include any personal information, a friend or representative can submit a comment for you.
If you have any questions about this process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
AIS Public Charge Toolkit & Resources
AIS developed a toolkit to help you spread the word about public charge and center immigrant survivors in your discussions. The Alliance for Immigrant Survivors Public Charge Toolkit includes topline messaging and suggested social media posts for Facebook and Twitter that you are welcome to edit and personalize, tagging your local community leaders and allies and using the primary hashtag #ProtectFamilies.
We created detailed sample Public Charge comments specific to domestic violence and sexual assault survivors that you can use when drafting your detailed comment.
We created succinct sample Public Charge comments specific to domestic violence and sexual assault survivors that you can use when drafting your comment.
This advisory, “How Will ‘Public Charge’ Proposed Policy Changes Impact Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault?,” was drafted by Grace Huang, AIS Co-Chair and Policy Director with the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence (October 2018).
We issued a media release with the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence before the publication of rule (September 2018).
AIS Co-Chair Tahirih Statement on The Administration’s New Rule Expanding the Definition of “Public Charge” (September 2018).