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Trump Administration Proposes Sweeping Changes Impacting the Most Vulnerable

Changes to SNAP/CalFresh

At the end of July, the Trump administration proposed changes to one way states calculate eligibility for SNAP (CalFresh) food stamp benefits in California. Under this proposed rule, people whose gross income is 130 percent above the federal poverty line (slightly more than $16,000 for one person) or have more than $2,250 in assets, will no longer qualify to receive federal food benefits. An estimated 9 percent of SNAP households, or 3.6 million people, could be impacted if this rule takes effect. In California, an estimated 250,000 people could lose this value benefit. Learn more here.

The public comment period on this proposed rule closes on September 23. The California Food Policy Advocates have put together an informational page about the proposed rule and suggested comments. The Food Resource and Action Council have created an easy comment portal for you to submit your comments about the proposed rule.

Public Charge Rule Change

Last month, the Trump Administration announced a change to the way immigration officials decide whether a person can enter the U.S. or get a green card. Immigration officials will look more closely at factors like health, age, income, skills (including English language skills), and use of more public programs, including SNAP/Cal Fresh (food stamps), Section 8 or other forms of federal housing assistance, Medicaid/Medi-Cal and cash aid (e.g. SSI, TANF, General Assistance).

According to the California Budget & Policy Center: The public charge rule applies when individuals are seeking to enter the US or seeking to adjust their immigration status to long-term permanent resident status. It does not apply to immigrants who already have green cards or to naturalized US citizens, and it does not apply to US-born children of immigrants. Use of public supports by other family members, such as US-born children, is not considered a negative factor.

The rule could dramatically limit the number of people using social safety net programs. The change is set to take effect on October 15.

For more information, including FAQs and messaging on how to talk with clients about the public charge rule change, visit Protecting Immigrant Families.

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