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An Impossible Choice for Immigrant Families

A proposed federal policy would force legal immigrants to choose between basic food assistance and permanent legal status. Commonly called "public charge," this rule would punish working families who receive benefits like SNAP and Medicaid. The climate of fear and uncertainty has already led many immigrants to forgo needed benefits, potentially increasing hunger among children. In this Chicago Tribune op-ed, Food Depository CEO Kate Maehr and Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law President John Bouman discuss the public charge proposal. At a time when more than 1.4 million people in Illinois are at risk of hunger, SNAP benefits are a critical response. The public charge change would increase the burden on food banks and charities nationwide. Submit a comment by December 10 to oppose the public charge change and protect food access.

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