Just Harvest, allies hosting Speak Out Against Public Charge


Policy Advocate Ann Sanders at (412) 431-8960 x109 or anns@justharvest.org


For Immediate Release: 11/30/18
WHAT: Speak Out Against Public Charge
WHEN: Monday, Dec. 3 | 6:00pm-8:00pm
WHERE: Allegheny County Human Services Building
1 Smithfield St., Pittsburgh, PA 15222
WHO: Just Harvest and
All for All
Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh
Casa San Jose
Consumer Health Coalition
Islamic Center of Pittsburgh
Latino Community Center
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
PA Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
Pittsburgh Food Policy Council
Pittsburgh UNITED
Put People First! PA
Service Employees Union, Local 668
Thomas Merton Center
are co-sponsoring this event that is open to the public


Pittsburgh, PA –

Just Harvest and allies are co-sponsoring a free, public event to oppose the Trump administration’s proposed change to the federal “public charge” immigration policy. This event aims to support a national drive to submit 100,000 unique comments before the Dec. 10 federal public comment period deadline to oppose the Trump public charge rule. Local affected immigrants will share their stories.

About the “public charge” test:

For over a hundred years, federal immigration services have used the “public charge” rule to identify people who may depend on long-term institutional care or on government cash assistance as their main source of financial support. If the government determines an immigrant applying for a visa or a green card is likely to become a “public charge,” that person can be refused permission to enter the U.S. or refused legal documentation (a green card). Refugees, asylees, survivors of domestic violence, and other protected groups aren’t subject to this test.

On October 10, the Trump Administration proposed to change the public charge test to exclude anyone who is likely to use work supports like health care, nutrition, and housing programs. The proposed test adds specific standards for income, health, age, and even English proficiency, and expands the forms of public assistance that the government will count in a “public charge” determination. Decades ago the government clarified that immigrant families can participate in essential programs that help them thrive and remain productive—without fear that doing so would harm their immigration case. They can no longer have that assurance if the Dept. of Homeland Security finalizes this rule.
Why local advocates are taking action:

The cosponsors of this event share these concerns:

  • The proposed public charge test will kill the American Dream by essentially creating a litmus test requiring immigrants to be wealthy and lacking in physical disabilities or chronic health problems.
  • The proposed public charge test will hurt families by making mixed status families fearful that any use of any kind of public assistance will endanger the application status of a family member, leading to family separation.
  • The proposed public charge test will harm the health and well-being of all Pennsylvanians by vastly increasing hunger and poverty among families eligible for or fearful of the public charge test, and by the estimated $1.9 billion annual loss to Pennsylvania’s economy if the employed immigrants affected by public charge leave the U.S.

Economic Impact of Proposed Change to Public Charge Rule: State-Level Analysis” by New American Economy Research Fund, Nov. 16, 2018.

Proposed Public Charge Rules Will Harm Pennsylvania’s Children, Seniors, Working Families, and Economy At-Large” by Community Legal Services Philadelphia, Nov 19, 2018.


JUST HARVEST addresses hunger’s root causes – economic justice – by improving public policy, boosting food access, and building community power in Allegheny County.



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