Urges Congress to block funding

The Trump Administration’s new public charge rule, finalized today despite historic public opposition, imposes sweeping changes on long-standing, bipartisan immigration policy that jeopardizes America’s future and intensifies the challenges faced by families and children.

“This rule is morally reprehensible and economically foolish,” said Bruce Lesley, president of the bipartisan advocacy group First Focus on Children. “Children are, quite literally, the future of America and this rule imperils some of the most vulnerable among them.”

Children of immigrants make up roughly one-quarter of all U.S. children. They are the fastest growing group of kids in the country. Discouraging children and their families from applying for essential public benefits will increase child poverty in the United States, contributing to a future generation of adults with compromised physical, nutritional, mental health, and educational outcomes. In addition, the rule’s “chilling effect” — when fear prompts eligible families to forego benefits — will extend its impact beyond these intended targets.

The long-term viability of our economy is dependent upon our children and youth. Without access to resources that support their healthy development, we will lack the skilled workers and tax base that we need for a strong economy.

First Focus urges Congress to ensure that these children continue to receive the critical assistance they need to thrive. We fully support Congressional bills put forth to block funding for this cruel and economically uninformed measure.

First Focus policy experts are currently studying the rule’s provisions and their impact on children. To schedule an interview with Bruce Lesley, please contact Michele Kayal at 703-919-8778.

First Focus on Children is a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions.