DEC Comments on the "Public Charge" Rule

December 7, 2018


At DEC, we believe in advocating for our most vulnerable populations, lending our collective voice for change - Because it Matters!


DEC members and DEC partners, this is the time to speak for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and families! 


What is the issue?  

On October 10, the Department of Homeland Security published the "public charge" proposed rule. This proposed rule would allow the U.S. to keep out immigrants it thinks might use government benefits to meet their needs. This proposed rule would greatly expand the criteria for use of U.S. government benefits in making immigration decisions. The public charge rule will discriminate against immigrants with disabilities and their families trying to enter the U.S. (get a visa) or get a green card (become a permanent resident). The Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (DEC) has developed comments opposing this devastating proposed rule related to applying for government services.


Under the new definition, if families access or are likely to use certain government programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, or housing assistance, they risk their opportunity to obtain permanent or temporary legal status in the United States. By penalizing families for their use of essential services, this proposal threatens the healthy development of millions of children including those with disabilities. In a time when approximately one in for children in the United States lives with at least one immigrant parent, this proposal inevitably threatens their future.


What can you do?    

We encourage every DEC member, every DEC partner, every organization that serves young children and their families, to personalize this sample DEC letter below and send to the federal government via the federal regulations portal by December 10, 2018.


Download the Sample Letter.


Thank you for aligning your advocacy with your belief that all young children can make a positive, lasting impact on the world. 



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