NCOA is disappointed with the Supreme Court’s ruling and concerned about the harmful effects the new DHS regulation will have on vulnerable older immigrants.
NCOA has heard from community partners that older adult immigrants are unwilling to seek participation in public benefits for which they are eligible.
This change also will affect the thousands of older adults and caregivers who rely on home health care.
Media Relations Manager
Arlington, VA (January 27, 2020) – The following is a statement from James Firman, President and CEO of the National Council on Aging (NCOA), in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling today that greenlights the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds rule.
“The National Council on Aging is very disappointed with the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling and extremely concerned about the harmful effects the new DHS regulation will have on vulnerable older immigrants who are in this country legally, on their caregivers, and on the diverse communities where they reside.
An Impossible Choice Between Well-Being and Immigration Status
“The Supreme Court’s narrow decision forces immigrant older adults who have played by the rules to make an impossible choice between going hungry and avoiding needed long-term care support or losing their immigration status. This regulation will create a personal and moral hazard for older adults who are looking to age with their families around them. NCOA opposes this harsh and arbitrary rule that is antithetical to the values of a just, caring, and welcoming America.
“We have heard from our community partners that older adult immigrants are already afraid and unwilling to seek participation in public benefits for which they are eligible – and have an intense need for – because they fear repercussions for their family or themselves. Now, we fear a wider range of older immigrants will not seek these health care, nutrition, and housing programs that enable them to live independently and with dignity.
Non-Immigrant Older Adults Also Will Be Hurt
“This change also will affect the thousands of older adults and caregivers who rely on home health care. One in four home health aides is an immigrant. We know that overwhelmingly people want to age in their own homes, but the proposed rule could threaten the economic security of these low-income workers who sometimes rely on limited public assistance. This could decimate the support needed for America’s aging population to age in place.
“This change forces families to make an impossible choice between aging well or aging securely with their loved ones. It imposes a callous vision of America and is in stark juxtaposition to NCOA’s vision of a just and caring society where everyone can age with dignity, purpose, and security.
“NCOA is proud to stand with the Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) campaign on this and other critical issues facing communities of color nationwide.”
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the national voice for every person’s right to age well. We believe that how we age should not be determined by gender, color, sexuality, income, or zip code. Working with thousands of national and local partners, we provide resources, tools, best practices, and advocacy to ensure every person can age with health and financial security. Founded in 1950, we are the oldest national organization focused on older adults. Learn more at ncoa.org and @NCOAging.