Across North Texas, nonprofits and community groups had already begun preparing last year for the possible roll-out of the public charge rule. They said they had no choice: Families were removing children who are U.S. citizens from public health programs for which they were legally eligible.
In Dallas, Josephine Lopez-Paul, the lead organizer of Dallas Area Interfaith, was blunt in her criticism. The group is planning a free health care fair on March 28 in Arlington at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Some immigrants have said they are fearful of going to any location connected to the government. Church complexes are viewed as safe places.
“We are creating a permanent underclass that doesn't care for one another,” Lopez-Paul said.
“The damage has already been done, whether the rule went into effect. Just imagine if they don’t have access to health care. … They don’t have access to immunizations.”
[Photo Credit: Brian Elledge, Dallas Morning News]