Some legal immigrants will no longer qualify for food stamps, Medicaid


New changes are going into effect for thousands of immigrant families who receive public service benefits like Medicaid or SNAP food benefits. Starting Monday, the Trump administration is allowed to deny green cards to legal immigrants who would potentially need public services like Medicaid or food stamps. This comes after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that passed in January. Advocates said changes to the decades long public charge rule will hurt thousands of New Mexico families.”In New Mexico a large proportion of immigrant families are what’s called mixed status families, and it’s those families in particular that are most concerned about this rule change,” said Teague Gonzalez, with the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty. “The changes to the rule make it harder for New Mexico families to feed their children and to have health insurance to go to the doctor.”While the changes will effect legal immigrants who are applying for a green card, it does not effect those who are applying for citizenship or those who already have a green card. The policy change also does not apply to refugees, special immigrant juveniles, and even women who are pregnant and on Medicaid. “The No. 1 message for us, is please don’t cancel your U.S. citizen children Medicaid or SNAP cause it’s just not necessary,” Gonzalez said. KOAT reached out the New Mexico Human Services Department to ask them about resources available for families who might be impacted, but they didn’t put anything on their website until KOAT started asking questions. But a spokesperson with the department said they’ve been preparing for this rule to take effect since August, and the changes are a big concern for families. “Today with the rule just going into effect today we want to make sure we have accurate easily understandable information out there for folks,” said Laurie Kraw, an immigration specialist with the New Mexico Human Services Department. “We have two informational flyers regarding public charge, we have them in English and Spanish. There is some now information available to folks to make sure that they’re making a well-informed decision.”The Republican Party of New Mexico responded to the public charge rule taking effect saying, “The ruling begins to allow the re-establishment of an orderly immigration system where this country chooses who will be allowed to come here.”While there are many exceptions to the rule, Gonzalez said those who think they might be impacted by the changes should seek advice before moving forward. “The people who came here legally who followed all the rules, needs access to those benefits just as much as U.S. citizens do sometimes,” Gonzalez said. For more information on changes to the public charge rule, visit:https://www.hsd.state.nm.us/LookingForAssistance/public-charge-rule.aspxhttp://nmpovertylaw.org/2020/02/5-things-you-should-know-about-the-new-public-charge-rule/?fbclid=IwAR25XZbpPuCwxKu9AUwwHvrSX3o9bjNvRtsSgKHK_wauBtXnOTNxoc_sDcY

New changes are going into effect for thousands of immigrant families who receive public service benefits like Medicaid or SNAP food benefits.

Starting Monday, the Trump administration is allowed to deny green cards to legal immigrants who would potentially need public services like Medicaid or food stamps. This comes after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that passed in January. Advocates said changes to the decades long public charge rule will hurt thousands of New Mexico families.

“In New Mexico a large proportion of immigrant families are what’s called mixed status families, and it’s those families in particular that are most concerned about this rule change,” said Teague Gonzalez, with the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty. “The changes to the rule make it harder for New Mexico families to feed their children and to have health insurance to go to the doctor.”

While the changes will effect legal immigrants who are applying for a green card, it does not effect those who are applying for citizenship or those who already have a green card. The policy change also does not apply to refugees, special immigrant juveniles, and even women who are pregnant and on Medicaid.

“The No. 1 message for us, is please don’t cancel your U.S. citizen children Medicaid or SNAP cause it’s just not necessary,” Gonzalez said.

KOAT reached out the New Mexico Human Services Department to ask them about resources available for families who might be impacted, but they didn’t put anything on their website until KOAT started asking questions. But a spokesperson with the department said they’ve been preparing for this rule to take effect since August, and the changes are a big concern for families.

“Today with the rule just going into effect today we want to make sure we have accurate easily understandable information out there for folks,” said Laurie Kraw, an immigration specialist with the New Mexico Human Services Department. “We have two informational flyers regarding public charge, we have them in English and Spanish. There is some now information available to folks to make sure that they’re making a well-informed decision.”

The Republican Party of New Mexico responded to the public charge rule taking effect saying, “The ruling begins to allow the re-establishment of an orderly immigration system where this country chooses who will be allowed to come here.”

While there are many exceptions to the rule, Gonzalez said those who think they might be impacted by the changes should seek advice before moving forward.

“The people who came here legally who followed all the rules, needs access to those benefits just as much as U.S. citizens do sometimes,” Gonzalez said.

For more information on changes to the public charge rule, visit:



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