UPDATE (01/27/20): In a 5-4 vote, the conservative-leaning Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration could proceed to implement its “public charge” rule. Now more than ever, Congress must act to block this divisive and xenophobic rule.
The Trump administration recently finalized a Department of Homeland Security rule change that restricts legal immigration by penalizing immigrants for accessing public services. The rule broadens DHS criteria for deciding whether applicants for visas and green cards are potential “public charges,”, i.e. people who are likely to depend economically on government services. Under the new rule, DHS will be more likely to deny U.S. admission and permanent residency status to immigrants who use federal benefits like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) and Medicaid. The rule forces millions of immigrants, many of whom have U.S.-born children, to decline needed public services to avoid risking their legal status. Unsurprisingly, the rule change is a pet project of the notorious white supremacist Stephen Miller, who has long sought to reduce legal immigration into the U.S.
Rep. Judy Chu has introduced a bill, H.R. 3222, to stop the public charge rule change by blocking the use of federal funds for its implementation. The bill, which is supported by leading immigration advocacy groups, is an essential piece of legislation to protect immigrants’ access to healthcare, food, housing, and other critical services. Urge your representatives to support this bill.