September 25, 2018
Contact: Dorothy He
(872) 600-9517 /

Washington, D.C. – On Sunday night, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it will propose a new rule that would drastically threaten the well-being of millions of immigrant families in the US. Under current law, immigrants who use cash assistance programs or who rely on assistance for long-term institutional care could be considered a so-called “public charge,” or dependent on the US Government for subsistence, and denied Lawful Permanent Residency (LPR, or green card) status. Under the proposed new rule, immigrants could be considered “public charge” and denied visas if they are using an even broader range of non-cash public benefits, such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and other programs.

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement in response:

“The Trump Administration has launched another cowardly attack on immigrants and their families. The “public charge” rule is unprecedented and simply cruel. It is a direct attempt to intimidate immigrant families and stop them from using key public benefits that could make the difference between life and death.

“Restrictions on immigrant participation in these programs already exist in the form of a five-year bar on Medicaid, CHIP, and fully participating in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) healthcare marketplace. These shameful restrictions are hurting the individuals need these services the most. This administration should be working to expand access to these programs instead of gambling with the lives of millions of people by defining who “deserves” to live with health and dignity.

“This proposed rule stands in direct opposition to reproductive justice, as it comes as no surprise that those who will be most affected are immigrant women and their children. Without the ability to use public benefits with dignity and free of fear, women will suffer in their lack of access to reproductive health, prenatal, and maternal care.

“Immigrants should not have to choose between LPR status and the ability to feed their children, access healthcare, obtain housing, or stay out of poverty. Put simply, this proposed rule is an assault on the core values of our country. All parents should have the ability to provide the things their children need and be there for them in meaningful ways without having to fear losing their status.

“NAPAWF strongly condemns this draconian rule. We will continue to fight until all immigrants have the freedom to decide their futures for themselves and their families without shame or fear.


The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build a movement to advance social justice and human rights for AAPI women and girls.