The Biden administration and the Department of Homeland Security released the 2022 Public Charge Final Rule. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the move represents an important step towards ensuring that all who are eligible for USDA’s nutrition assistance programs can access their crucial benefits. The rule clarifies the policy that’s been in place for most of the last 20 years, definitively allowing eligible immigrants to apply for and receive non-cash government benefits like SNAP or WIC without fear of any negative impact on their immigration status. “This action ensures faithful implementation of the law, one that will have a meaningful impact on immigrant communities and help give them the nourishment to lead happier and healthier lives,” Vilsack says. “Immigrants and their families have the right to access the programs for which Congress has made them eligible.” He also says it’s a chance to advance nutrition security for generations to come.
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