Trump proposal would expand abusive policy and put millions of immigrant families at risk

Monday, September 24, 2018

This weekend the Department of Homeland Security released the text of a proposed regulation that would vastly expand the definition of "public charge" under immigration law. This proposed rule would increase the number of social safety net programs that trigger a public charge determination, making a person inadmissible to the United States and ineligible to become a lawful permanent resident.

The following statement can be attributed to Merf Ehman, executive director, Columbia Legal Services:

"The United States is a nation shaped by immigrants fleeing from scarcity. We should continue to welcome immigrants across the economic spectrum, not just the wealthy ones.

"An immigrant is not more or less worthy because of the size of their pocketbook. Poverty shouldn't be a source of shame, and government should never stoop to penalizing poverty. Yet that is exactly what the Trump administration is trying to do with this "public charge" rule. The changes considered under this harmful proposal will punish immigrant families - primarily immigrant families of color - for choosing to seek out help for themselves or their children. Food stamps and Medicaid can be a way for families to help protect themselves when times get tough and can help families get back on their feet, immigrant and citizen alike.

"Fearful of this pending rule change, many immigrant families in Washington State and across the country are already forgoing necessary medical and other assistance out of concern that it will impact their chances at getting a green card. The administration should retract this harmful proposed rule - the final rule should never see the light of day."