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Public Charge Comment Party!

Public Charge Comment Party LG.jpg

We will be hosting a comment party to oppose the administration’s proposed public charge rule TODAY (Wednesday, 12/5) from 5-8 at the The Food Project Office (120 Munroe Street). Please stop by to write a letter to the Department of Homeland Security saying that we oppose this proposed rule that will exacerbate food insecurity among immigrant families. Bring a friend (or 2!) and come enjoy some snacks and good company as we work to oppose this harmful regulation!

If you can’t make it tonight, here are some instructions on how to submit a letter or an online comment. Comments are due by Monday December 10th, so get them in soon!

How to Submit Comments

By Mail (preferred) → Mail comments to:\

Samantha Deshommes

Office of Policy and Strategy U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Department of Homeland Security

20 Massachusetts Ave NW

Washington, DC 20529-2140

Online → Submit comments here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USCIS-2010-0012-0001

What to write:

  1. How you/your family/your community would be negatively affected by the change in public charge regulations

  2. Specify that you are against an expansion in which programs are considered when deciding if someone is a risk of becoming a public charge

  3. Include 1-2 key, specific points that are important to you

  4. Explain how this is against your personal values

  5. If you have specific knowledge, mention it! For example, mention your work with Lynn Grows

  6. All comments must be UNIQUE! So tell your story if you can - it has more of an impact!

Key points to include:

  • Favors the wealthy - Our lives in this country shouldn’t be defined by how much money we have

  • A destructive regulation - This would make immigrant families afraid to seek access to healthy food, health care, and housing. This fear would even expand to folks who aren’t subject to the public charge test. It would harm entire communities and the infrastructure that serves us all.

  • Puts millions at risk - this would have a negative ripple effect on health, development, and economic outcomes for generations to come

  • If you want, you can write in particular about the addition of SNAP to the public charge criteria and how this makes it impossible for many immigrant families to access nourishing foods for their families, which is necessary to wellbeing, quality of life, and school and work engagement and productivity. Also, every SNAP dollar spent generates $1.76 in economic activity, and so narrowing SNAP eligibility would hurt farmers and communities that benefit from this economic activity. See this document for more info on the impacts of these changes on hunger in the U.S.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Don’t suggest ways to change or fix this regulation

  • Don’t mention programs that are not included in the rule (Programs that ARE involved in the proposed changes are SNAP, non-emergency Medicaid, Low-income subsidy for prescription drug costs under Medicare Part D, and Public Housing Section 8 Housing Vouchers, and Project Based Section 8)

  • Don’t send in letters with signatures from multiple people or pre-written language; only unique letters from individuals will get counted separately

  • Do reference DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-0012 in your correspondence to ensure proper handling

  • Do write as many letters as you can - representing different organizations/affiliations (ex: concerned citizen, student, congregation member, WIC recipient)

  • Do write each letter to be unique

  • Do oppose expansion of public charge regulations to include ANY additional programs, not just the ones you feel are most important

  • Do express your views and concerns clearly; it helps to write that you are opposing all the proposed changes in the first line of the letter (“As a concerned citizen, WIC recipient, etc., I oppose the proposed changes to “public charge” determination because…”)

  • Do attach extra references and information to be read with the letter (instead of links) or directly quote the information in your letter

  • Do bring this information to your family, friends, and communities and encourage them to write letters!

See this document for more information on the proposed rule

REMEMBER THAT COMMENTS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY DECEMBER 10, 2018!!!

Earlier Event: October 25
Lynn Central Square Farmers Market
Later Event: December 15
Lynn Winter Farmers Market