“Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”
— Ken Cuccinelli, Acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
The Trump administration has made yet another change to immigration rules, making it more difficult to get permanent residency status, or a Green Card.
The new rule, which goes into effect on Oct. 15, changes the definition of the term “Public Charge” from a person who primarily depends on the government for support to a person who has used or is likely to use one or more of the government programs in the future such as cash aid, Food Stamps, Section 8 housing vouchers, or Medi-Cal.
Under the guise of promoting self-sufficiency, the administration will weigh an immigrant’s use of public programs (-or in this case, likely use of public programs) against income and other factors such as age, health, education level, and credit score.
I wonder how many native-born Americans would pass that same test.
I wonder if I would.
This change only applies to those who are seeking permanent resident status. It does not apply to those who already have a Green Card and are applying for citizenship.
If you’re attending Delta College on a Student Visa, you can still apply for Pell Grants and other forms of educational aid from the state of California, which are not affected under the new rules.
The Trump administration previously failed to get support from Congress to reform the immigration rules towards a more merit-based system.
The effect of this new rule will be to limit legal immigration, move immigration approvals away from the poor and lean towards approving only wealthier immigrants.
This assumes immigrants are taking benefits away from Americans, which is not true. Rich people aren’t the only ones capable of contributing vital, tangible benefits to our country.
In its article “Immigrants and the Economy,” the ACLU states: “Contrary to popular belief, immigrants do not take away jobs from American workers. Instead, they create new jobs by forming new businesses, spending their incomes on American goods and services, paying taxes and raising the productivity of U.S. businesses. Immigrants are good for the economy, not the other way around.”
Aside from the inherent inhumanity of this policy, this rule will force an already vulnerable population to make choices between their health and immigration status.
This new rule is a blatant attempt to circumvent Congress to reduce immigration levels and sow a climate of confusion and fear in the immigrant community.
It’s an effort to appeal to many in Trump’s base who want to preserve the whiteness of America.
The rule should be abolished.