(Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 11, 2018) – The Trump administration announced on September 22 it wants to make changes to the “public charge” rule. These changes would deny green cards to legal immigrants who have used or might use safety-net programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formally known as food stamps) and Medicaid. If these rules are adopted, the health and well-being of 27 million lawful residents in the United States will be at risk – including children. Nearly one quarter of kids in the U.S. have at least one immigrant parent, and 9 in 10 of these children who could be most impacted are U.S. citizens.

The government recently released statistics on the number of people living in hunger and poverty in the U.S. in 2017. It found that 18% of Latinos, and more than 21% of Latino families with children, experienced hunger. These rates are significantly higher than the general population. Latino children are nearly twice as likely to lack access to sufficient nutritious food as non-Latino white children (24 percent vs. 14 percent). The last time changes were made to the public charge rule – between 1994 and 1998 – hunger among immigrant families increased dramatically, likely due to fears about using public assistance programs. We are already seeing this happening again, and many immigrants may not receive the support they need. This will likely drive up the already high hunger rates.

Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. By changing policies, programs, and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist, Bread for the World provides help and opportunity far beyond the communities where we live.

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