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U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack shared a public statement regarding the 2022 Public Charge Final Rule.
The Fair and Humane Public Charge Rule was issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Sept. 8, according to Vilsack's statement.
“Today's release of the 2022 Public Charge Final Rule by the Biden-Harris administration and Department of Homeland Security represents an important step toward ensuring all those who are eligible for USDA’s nutrition assistance programs can access their crucial benefits," Vilsack said in his statement.
This rule will clarify the policy which has been in place for nearly 20 years, the statement reported. It allows for eligible immigrants to apply for and receive non-cash government benefits like SNAP, WIC, and free or reduced-price lunches, without fear of repercussions or negative impact on their immigration status.
Vilsack noted immigrants and their families "have the right to access the programs for which Congress has made them eligible," according to his statement.
“This action ensures a fair and faithful interpretation of the law, one that will have a meaningful impact on the immigrant communities and help give them the nourishment to lead happier, healthier lives," Vilsack continued in his statement. "It represents the administration’s broader commitment to equity and advancing nutrition security for generations to come.”