[Ohio-Talk] National Federation of the Blind Condemns New Public Charge

Suzanne Turner smturner.234 at gmail.com
Thu Aug 15 20:50:42 UTC 2019


National Federation of the Blind Condemns New Public Charge Rule

The National Federation of the Blind commented today on the new "public
charge rule" issued on August 12. Our statement follows:

Pursuant to our diversity statement contained in our Code of Conduct, the
National Federation of the Blind does not discriminate or tolerate
discrimination based on citizenship, among other characteristics or
intersectionality of characteristics. From this flows an obligation to fight
for the rights of undocumented blind people when they experience
discrimination. To that end, in December of 2018 we submitted public
010-0012-final.pdf>  to the Department of Homeland Security, United States
Citizenship and Immigration Services, regarding proposed changes to what is
known as the "public charge rule." The public charge rule is intended to
ensure that people seeking admission to the United States for permanent
lawful resident status are "self-sufficient" and "do not depend on public
resources to meet their needs." We expressed our concern that the
then-proposed changes to the definition of "public charge" did not
adequately consider the circumstances and unique needs of undocumented blind
people and other undocumented individuals with disabilities or their
families. We were particularly concerned that parents of blind children
would not seek services to which their children are entitled, including the
Children's Health Insurance Program and Medicaid (which have not previously
been included in the public charge consideration), and that blind adults
would be adversely affected if they used rehabilitation services or
disability, housing, and food assistance benefits. We urged the withdrawal
of the new proposed rule in its entirety, or revisions to reflect the unique
barriers faced by blind people in obtaining and retaining employment, as
well as other factors.

The new public charge rule has now been issued and is set to take effect on
October 15, 2019. The Rule as published does not reflect any of the concerns
we expressed. We are profoundly disappointed in this development and remain
deeply concerned that the new rule will have a chilling effect on
undocumented blind people and their families, who will be forced to choose
between keeping their families together, and going without critical services
to which they and/or their children are eligible. Blind people should not be
penalized for accessing benefits and programs to which they are legally
entitled, especially those which are specifically designed to help them to
overcome the barriers created by the low expectations of society and to
become independent and self-sufficient. Blind individuals are contributing
significantly in all sectors of the American economy today, but the current
rule sends the message that the participation of the blind in the workforce
is not valued. The National Federation of the Blind will continue to seek
lawful ways to help blind people who are affected by this discriminatory
rule change.


About the National Federation of the Blind 
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), headquartered in Baltimore, is
the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans. Founded
in 1940, the NFB consists of affiliates, chapters, and divisions in the
fifty states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. The NFB defends the rights of
blind people of all ages, and provides information and support to families
with blind children, older Americans who are losing vision, and more. We
believe in the hopes and dreams of blind people and work together to
transform them into reality. Learn more about our many programs and
initiatives at nfb.org <https://nfb.org/> .


Chris Danielsen

Director of Public Relations

National Federation of the Blind

410-659-9314, extension 2330

410-262-1281 (cell)

cdanielsen at nfb.org <mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org> 


*         Donate <https://nfb.org/donate> 

*         Join Us <https://nfb.org/get-involved/join-us> 

National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, Maryland 21230

Phone 410-659-9314 <tel:+14106599314> 
Email nfb at nfb.org <mailto:nfb at nfb.org> 

Connect with Us

*         Facebook <https://facebook.com/NationalFederationoftheBlind/> 

*         Twitter <https://twitter.com/nfb_voice> 

*         YouTube <https://www.youtube.com/user/NationsBlind> 

Subscribe to Our E-newsletter

*         Our Community <https://nfb.org/our-community> 

o    People Who Are Blind

o    People Losing Vision

o    Parents of Blind Children

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image001.png
Type: image/png
Size: 86174 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://nfbnet.org/pipermail/ohio-talk_nfbnet.org/attachments/20190815/bd7a09a7/attachment.png>

More information about the Ohio-Talk mailing list