Both undocumented and documented immigrants have been dropping out of a federal nutrition program for their babies out of fear the Trump administration will use their acceptance of federal aid against them. Health providers cited by Politico on Monday said they’ve gotten frantic calls from immigrant families demanding that they immediately be removed from the WIC program after learning of White House plans to deny legal status to immigrants who’ve relied on public benefits. Enrollment in the program has reportedly dropped by up to 20 percent in at least 18 states. Formally known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, WIC helps about half of all babies born in the U.S. get access to healthy foods and infant formula. The vast majority of the babies who benefit from the program are U.S. citizens. “The big concern for all of us in the WIC community is that this program is really about growing healthy babies,” Rev. Douglas Greenaway, president and CEO of the National WIC Association, was quoted as saying by Politico. “When any population that’s potentially eligible for this program is either driven away by changes in regulation or legislation or simply by political rhetoric inducing fear there are huge personal consequences to those babies and their families,” he said.
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