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Trump's Public Charge Rule Seen As Having Chilling Effect On People Seeking Food Help

logo for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

Federal law has long required immigrants who are seeking permanent resident status to prove they won’t be a burden on taxpayers.

The Trump administration has announced a new rule that would broaden the definition of who is considered a so-called “public charge.”

In Massachusetts, more than 500,000 legal immigrants could be affected by the change, according to state officials and advocates.

A number of organizations have spoken out about the proposed rule.  The Massachusetts Medical Society called it “inhumane.”

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Christina Maxwell, the director of programs for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.
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