WIC services not included in DHS public charge rule

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(CHCC) — On Jan. 27, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a nationwide injunction that prevented the implementation of the Department of Homeland Security’s final public charge rule, which was issued in Aug. 019.

This rule significantly expands the government’s ability to deny immigrants legal status if they have accessed certain public benefits —namely Medicaid, Nutrition Assistance Program, or housing assistance. The CNMI Women, Infants and Children or WIC Program, under the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., would like to inform the community and our participants that WIC is not included in the final public charge rule.

Our participants and those who are WIC-eligible should not be dissuaded from accessing WIC’s nutrition and breastfeeding support services. In addition, the final rule does not impose barriers on children under the age of 21 years, pregnant women, and postpartum women (60 days after delivery) from accessing Medicaid services, nor does it penalize families if their U.S.-citizen child is accessing benefits.

CHCC recognizes the importance of all families in our community; each family enriches our villages, our culture, and our economy, and it is in all of our best interest, ethically and economically, to make sure mothers and children have what they need to lead healthy, happy and productive lives. We stand committed to our vision “happy mothers, healthy children and a resilient community” and our doors remain open to provide quality nutrition and breastfeeding services in the CNMI.

For more information about the public charge rule, go to www.uscis.gov/legal-resources/final-rule-public-charge-ground-inadmissibility.

For more information about its programs, follow CHCC Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @cnmichcc, check out its website at www.chcc.gov.mp or call 234-8950.

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