MAZON Celebrates End of Dangerous Public Charge Rule

March 11, 2021

The U.S. Department of Justice announced yesterday that the Biden administration would no longer defend the Trump administration’s cruel public charge rule that sought to prevent immigrants from accessing nutrition assistance benefits such as SNAP, effectively blocking the measure permanently.

Abby J. Leibman, MAZON’s President and CEO, celebrated the Biden administration’s decision to prioritize the basic needs of the country’s most vulnerable in a statement:

“The Justice Department’s decision to permanently suspend the Trump administration’s heartless public charge rule is a welcome return to wisdom, compassion, and common sense. As the only Jewish anti-hunger organization in America, we are all too familiar with unjust immigration policies like this, which sought to keep our families from coming to America as they escaped pogroms and the Holocaust. This decision ensures that such appalling mistakes of the past are not imposed on this generation of immigrants, cruelly frightening them away from support that would provide them with enough food to eat.

“At MAZON, we are guided by a tradition that not only compels us to welcome the stranger, but also to ensure that all who are hungry have enough to eat. We were proud to join a coalition of anti-hunger and immigrant rights allies in filing an amicus brief about the particular harm the rule would cause to older immigrants and their families, particularly those who seek or accept assistance from programs like SNAP.

“We commend the Biden administration and look forward to working with them to implement proactive policies that work to meet the basic human needs of all people experiencing hunger, regardless of circumstance or immigration status.”

MAZON has a track record of advocating for those impacted by the public charge rule. In 2018, MAZON submitted comments to the Department of Homeland Security when the public charge rule was first proposed and in September 2019, MAZON was part of an amicus brief for the lawsuit that was filed in the Northern District of California. The brief was specifically noted in federal courts’ opinions when they issued temporary injunctions the following month.