Utah Community Groups Oppose Rule Change that will Impact Immigrant Communities

October 10, 2018


Contact: Gina Cornia, 801-328-2561

Salt Lake City, Utah: On Wednesday, October 10th the Department of Homeland Security published a proposed rule in the Federal Register. The rule, titled ‘Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds’ or the ‘Public Charge’ rule, expands the current definition of ‘public charge’ and could impact legal immigrants’ willingness to access certain public programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), non-emergency Medicaid, Medicare Part D, and Housing Assistance. 

In response to the significant and harmful departure from current policy, thirteen community groups, including the City of Salt Lake and Salt Lake County released the following call to action and statement in opposition to the proposed rule:

Public Statement in Opposition to Proposed Public Charge Rule

The Trump administration has released a sweeping new immigration regulation proposal, known as the “Public Charge” rule. If adopted, the rule could have a negative impact on Utah and may lead to increased poverty, hunger, unmet health care needs and trauma for communities across Utah. As advocates working to improve the lives of ALL low-income Utahns, we strongly oppose any rule that could threaten the health and wellbeing of all of us, including immigrants. 

While advocacy against the rule, as originally proposed, has softened the potential impact of the rule by eliminating penalties for immigrant parents who received benefits on behalf of a U.S. citizen relative, we remain deeply concerned about the rule and the message it sends to immigrant communities.

We fear that the rule could chill access to critical programs that help Utahns and their families’ access essential needs including health care, food, and housing. The proposed rule ignores the contributions of working immigrants who are valued members of our Utah communities and no more likely to use public benefits than citizens, and we believe that it runs counter to Utah values.

As advocates and community members working with Utah families, we urge Utah leaders to speak out in opposition to this proposed rule. We call on our State leaders and members of Congress to instead work with immigrant communities to build policies that support immigrants as healthy, productive and successful members of American society and provide opportunities for immigrant families to thrive. We, the undersigned, stand in opposition to the proposed rule.

To learn more about the rule, who will be affected, and the principles at stake, please visit:

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
Protecting Immigrant Families

Public comment on the rule will close on December 10th, 2018. A community forum about the Public Charge rule is also planned for early November in Salt Lake City. Details forthcoming.

Organizations Opposing Public Charge Rule Change

Comunidades Unidas, Luis Garza
Racially Just Utah, Kathy Abarca
Catholic Community Services, Aden Batar
Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake, Jean Hill
Voices for Utah Children, Lincoln Neering
Crossroads Urban Center, Glenn Bailey
Coalition of Religious Communities, Bill Tibbitts
Utahns Against Hunger, Gina Cornia
Utah Health Policy Project, Stacy Stanford
Alliance for a Better Utah, Chase Thomas
City of Salt Lake, Mayor Jackie Biskupski
Salt Lake County Government, Mayor Ben McAdams
Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake, Gachi Guet

Press Contacts:
Comunidades Unidas, Luis Garza 801- 487-4143
Voices for Utah Children, Jessie Mandle 801-364-1182
Utah Health Policy Project, Stacy Stanford 801-718-6130
Utahns Against Hunger, Gina Cornia 801-328-2561
Alliance for a Better Utah, Chase Thomas 385-355-4867
Catholic Community Services, Jean Hill 801-803-9843
Salt Lake City Government, Matthew Rojas 385-228-2365
Salt Lake County Government, Michelle Schmitt. 385-468-7013