The legislation was part of a series of bills passed on Thursday aimed at counteracting the Trump administration’s public charge policy change and its consequences for immigrant communities.
CITY HALL — On Thursday, the City Council voted to pass Council Member Francisco Moya’s bill to ensure those who disenroll from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or whose SNAP benefits are set to lapse, will be given information on emergency feeding programs.
The bill, Int. 1708, was introduced as reports emerged of immigrants disenrolling from SNAP, commonly known as food stamps, and other public programs out of fear it could negatively affect their immigration status.
“Needing a little help to feed yourself or your family is not an indictment of character,” said Council Member Francisco Moya. “But refusing to help in the wealthiest country the world has ever known — for no reason other than pure xenophobia — that’s absolutely an indictment of our national character. And that’s exactly what the Trump administration is doing with its bigoted public charge policy.”
“I will never begrudge someone who comes here in search of the American Dream and perseveres through blood, sweat, and tears to make that dream a reality,” said Moya, who sits on the Immigration Committee and is himself the son of immigrants from Ecuador. “The pursuit of that Dream is the quintessential American story. Some may struggle along the way but it’s incumbent on us as elected officials to take care of all our constituents, regardless of their national origin or economic status.”
The bill was co-sponsored by Council Member Kalman Yeger. It requires the Human Resources Administration (HRA) to provide information on all city-funded emergency feeding programs to individuals who received SNAP benefits and whose cases closed on or after Jan. 1, 2016. The department will also distribute that information to anyone who receives a SNAP recertification notice. Individuals will be contacted by mail or email. The department will make the information available online and on any related mobile applications as well.
The bill was adopted by a vote of 50-0.