Public Charge Backlash Activates LI Pro-Immigrant Groups

(Photo courtesy of SEPA Mujer via RiverheadLOCAL)

The following is a summary of a RiverheadLOCAL en Español story by Maria Piedrabuena on a project and other initiatives on Long Island started in response to the “public charge” proposal.

In anticipation of the Department of Homeland Security’s planned “public charge” rule, a group of pro-immigrant organizations on Long Island, including Empire Justice Center, SEPA Mujer, CARECEN and OLA of Eastern Long Island, will begin compiling personal testimonies of people who might be affected by the policy. SEPA Mujer will host an open forum on Oct. 14 in Patchogue.

A series of protests, as well as other local initiatives to educate and raise awareness about the new rule, are being planned across Long Island. Local community leaders argued that, if implemented, the rule would have devastating consequences for people who might work but still need benefits such as SNAP, and would compel immigrants to go further into hiding.

“It is another attempt to try to marginalize and punish immigrants, and to harm families who need those benefits to lead healthy lives,” said Cheryl Keshner, of the Empire Justice Center.

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