Act of Advocacy: Share a Public Comment

Before certain rule changes can become law, there is a period of time for public comment where anyone can weigh in on the issue and explain why they agree or disagree with the change. Submitting a comment is an important way of sharing your views and any stories and statistics you think are important for policy makers and leaders to hear.

Right now the Trump administration is hearing public comment on a proposed change to the public charge rule. The change would add SNAP (and others) to the list of government benefits that make someone ineligible for US citizenship–in other words, someone who uses SNAP for any length of time could never become a US citizen.

We’re asking you to engage in advocacy by submitting a public comment opposing this change. Then, share our post on your personal social media to encourage your friends to participate as well!

You can submit your comment here. If you need help constructing one, our friends at MAZON created this helpful guide on what to include and how to present your ideas. If you utilize a template comment, be sure to add your own words as well–without that, the comment legally can’t be counted.

Tell me more about the issue.

What is a public charge? A public charge is an individual who is “likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence,” AKA someone who needs help from the government to make ends meet’ you can’t become a citizen if you use any of these benefits.

Why is this change important? Since using SNAP will impact their citizenship, many folks who currently use it will stop, which will make it harder to make ends meet and pay for basic needs. This can increase the likelihood that someone will experience food insecurity, housing insecurity, and other financial problems; it will worsen health outcomes and decrease the likelihood of being able to go to (and finish) school. For more detailed information on the impact of this change, see this factsheet created by the Food Research & Action Center or these talking points created by MAZON.

How does this impact college students? College students already need to meet work requirements to be eligible for SNAP, and this rule will make it more difficult for many non-citizens to finish school. Additionally, 41% of 2-year and 34% of 4-year college students who had at least 1 parent who was not a citizen or permanent resident experienced food insecurity in the past year. Losing access to SNAP and other benefits will negatively impact these students’ families and economic situations, forcing them to make difficult decisions about their spending and reducing the likelihood they will finish their degrees.

How do I submit a public comment?

You can submit your comment here. Then, share our message on social media and encourage three friends to submit comments of their own!

Reach out to us here, on social media, or to [email protected] to share why you submitted a comment, how it made you feel to act, and any specific stories you included.

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