Nutrition services

Feared by Trump’s proposals, immigrants abandon public nutrition services


Mr Wheeler of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network said lawyers began to see anxiety over a year ago when an unsigned draft decree was leaked aimed at promoting ‘immigrant self-reliance’ . Then, in January, the State Department revised the foreign affairs manual, used to determine whether to grant entry to the United States to non-citizens. Officials must now carefully consider the likelihood of the candidate for entry becoming a burden on taxpayers and may factor in the use of public benefits by a family member or sponsor in their decision.

The immigrant response is a pattern providers have seen before. In WIC, unlike SNAP, most agencies do not solicit information on citizenship. But in 2014, the state of Indiana – under Mike Pence, then governor and now vice president – began requiring applicants to affirm their citizenship or “qualified alien” status on forms. admission of the WIC. Women immediately began to refuse to register, said Colleen Batt, director of Indiana WIC at the time.

Throughout the first year of the Trump presidency, agencies in areas with high immigrant populations reported canceled appointments, urgent unsubscribe requests, and even subsequent requests to remove all family records from the base. of data.

Immigrants who have withdrawn from these services are reluctant to talk about their predicament for fear that their public identification would have legal repercussions.

In New Jersey, three neighboring counties – Union, Essex and Hudson – have an immigrant population of over 25%, according to census data. In those counties, participation in some elements of the New Jersey Community FoodBank’s outreach program fell by nearly half between 2016 and 2017, according to Julienne Cherry, the bank’s director of agency relations.

In November 2017, the New Jersey SNAP program also reported an 8.1% decrease in the number of participants statewide over a one-year period. Enrollment rates in Essex and Union counties had fallen by more than 10%.

According to preliminary data, Florida experienced a 9.6% drop in WIC attendance during the one-year period from November 2016 to 2017. Texas lost 7.4% of WIC attendees – and some offices in heavily Spanish-speaking communities say they are considering laying off. employees due to the drastic decrease in workload.