Ask the Ed Lab: Does getting free school lunch affect undocumented immigrants’ citizenship applications?

By Isabel Sophia Dieppa


Q: If my child gets free lunch in school will that affect my citizenship application?

A: The so-called public charge rule reemerged in the news recently after the Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to move forward with broad changes to the rules for undocumented immigrants who use public benefits.

The changes make it harder for immigrants to obtain green cards if they receive federally-funded public benefits or are likely to depend on them.

So does that affect families with students who receive free or reduced lunch at school?

“The short answer is no,” said Madison Allen, a senior policy attorney at the Center for Law and Social Policy.

“The school breakfast and lunch programs are not included in the public charge rule,” Allen said. “Health and nutrition benefits a child receives will not count against their parents’ immigration application. We recommend parents continue to enroll their children in programs they are eligible for.”

To learn more about what benefits may or may not affect a person’s citizenship application you can check out this fact sheet from CLASP and this reported story from CalMatters. California is also providing a lot of state resources in order to help immigrant families you can learn more in this Fresno Bee story.


Read the full article here.

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