Blog Posts > Public Charge Rule Would Harm WV Families
August 16, 2019

Public Charge Rule Would Harm WV Families

On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Trump Administration finalized their public charge rule, which will allow immigration officials to deny green cards and citizenship to immigrants or would-be immigrants who are determined likely to receive even modest assistance from programs like SNAP and Medicaid at any point over their lifetimes. This rule is such a radical expansion of the public charge definition that more than half of all U.S. born citizens would fail the “public charge” test were it applied to them.

In West Virginia, 12,500 residents are at risk of direct impacts or chilling effects of the public charge rule when implemented. This figure includes families with at least one non-citizen with incomes below 250% percent of the poverty level. These are the families who are most likely to be using the benefit programs targeted by the public charge rule change, and mostly liking to face a “chilling effect.”

Read more in Sean and Kelly’s blog post.

A Matter of Life and Death

This week WVCBP board member Rick Wilson’s op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail focused on how many West Virginia lives were saved so far due to Medicaid expansion which now covers over 155,000 West Virginians. As Rick states, it is more than urgent that we protect access to Medicaid, it’s life saving. Read more about the numbers behind Rick’s message in Ted’s blog post from last week.

West Virginia Municipalities Have Authority to Expand Worker Benefits

Everyone gets sick, but not everyone gets paid time off work to get better. Nearly half of West Virginia’s private sector workers, 46 percent, lacks paid sick leave, and people of color and low-income workers are the least likely to have access to this benefit. This means that those who have the most to lose by missing out on a day’s pay when they are sick are the least likely to have paid leave. Fortunately, West Virginia’s municipalities have the legal authority to pass ordinances to increase worker benefits and equity by extending paid sick leave to their residents. Paid sick leave is not only good for workers and their families, but also for businesses and local economies.

Read more in Kelly’s blog post.

Help Protect SNAP for People Like Kandi

The Trump Administration has proposed a change to a key SNAP (food stamps) rule which, if implemented, would take away basic food assistance from an estimated 3.1 million people, mainly working families with children, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. The proposed rule would make it harder for struggling people to make ends meet. It comes in the aftermath of the President’s 2017 tax law, which conferred large new benefits on the highest-income households. The rule would also sidestep Congress, which rejected a similar harmful proposal when it enacted the 2018 Farm Bill.

Comment today! Comments due September 23.

Title X Essential to Rural Areas

No one should live without access to health care. But fulfilling that principle requires helping our population overcome many of obstacles in West Virginia, including our high poverty rate and our state’s rural landscape. Nineteen percent of our state’s population lives in poverty, the fourth-highest rate in the nation- and the poverty rates are even higher for women (21 percent) and for people of color (31 percent).
Read Kelly’s op-ed which was published on the Dominion Post‘s editorial page).

Reminder: Stop Abuse by Debt Collectors

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed a rule that allows consumers to be subject to a new level of harassment by debt collectors. Once again, the current CFPB is siding with abusive debt collectors instead of protecting consumers.
Let your voice be heard! Submit a comment to the CFPB and tell them to promote fair debt collection practices and protect consumers from abuse. Comments are due by August 19.

Some of Our Twitter Week: (Follow Us! @WVCBP)

West Virginia ranks 9th in the US among states with the highest rates of gun deaths and has some of the weakest gun laws in the country.
If “Incarceration” was a city in West Virginia, it would be the 11th largest city in the state behind South Charleston. In 2018, WV incarcerated 5,878 people in prison and 7,053 in jail.
On the 84th anniversary of the Social Security Act, we celebrate its vital role in reducing poverty among seniors. In West Virginia, Social Security lifts 138,000 seniors out of poverty.

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