New Mexico says public benefit immigrant rule may hurt kids

New Mexico

In this Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 photo, New Mexico then gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham speaks to an audience including many unionized state workers in Santa Fe, N.M. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s human services secretary fears that children may be deprived of food assistance and other vital services under the Trump administration’s new rule to deny green cards to migrants who use Medicaid, food stamps and other forms of public assistance.

In a news release Tuesday, Human Services Secretary David Scrase predicted the rule would create greater disparities in terms of access to health care.

Federal law currently requires those seeking to become permanent residents or gain legal status to prove they will not be a burden to the U.S., but the new rules broaden disqualifications.

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is sharply criticizing the change.

The state estimates that 77,000 U.S. citizen children live in New Mexico with an immigrant parent in a family relying on food assistance.

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