Letter to the editor: Protect immigrant families by opposing changes to SNAP

A sign on a sales rack of an energy bar in a 7-Eleven in New York on July 27, 2014, promotes the convenience store's acceptance of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) formerly known as EBT. (Tribune News Service)

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No one should be forced to choose between feeding their family and staying in this country. Unfortunately, this is exactly the current situation many students of the Kansas State family will find themselves in if proposed rule changes to immigration are implemented.

Those coming to the United States will be forced to choose between the assistance they need and foregoing the American Dream. This would be the reality for many under the proposed changes to what “public charge” means under the Department of Homeland Security.

Following the new changes, a person could be denied permanent residency if they have been a recipient of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP (formerly food stamps), Medicaid, federal housing assistance or other anti-poverty programs. All of these programs help many students afford to stay in school. Not only is this bad policy — it’s cruel and immoral.

Beyond this horrific impact, the new rule would have a much broader effect. Families may forgo essential assistance, even if they or their kids are legally entitled to it, out of fear of being deported. This hits home for many of the K-State family.

We, as members of the K-State family, need to publicly decry this new rule change. We also need to call on our elected officials like Senator Pat Roberts, Senator Jerry Moran and Representative Roger Marshall to publicly oppose this rule change.

— Jonathan Cole, RESULTS REAL Change Fellow, student senator and senior in mechanical engineering

— Lily Colburn, RESULTS volunteer, Student Governing Association intern and sophomore in political science

— Vedant Kulkarni, RESULTS volunteer, student senator and sophomore in business administration

The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.