Lawmakers Decry “Public Charge” Rule that Targets Immigrant Communities
Senators Bob Menéndez (D-NJ), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) led a group of Senate colleagues in sending a letter to the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, urging the administration to reverse course and withdraw the proposed public charge rule -- which would bar legal immigrants from obtaining permanent residency if they have used public assistance programs like SNAP or Medicaid. “Frightening people away from critical resources will compromise families and communities across our country,” the Senators write. “The wellbeing of children and parents is inextricably linked. It is impossible to single out one member of a family without having a ripple effect on children and other members of the household.” Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chair Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) on Tuesday introduced a bill to prevent any federal funds from being used to implement the rule. “In one of the more outrageous, callous, and openly xenophobic proposals of this administration, President Trump and Stephen Miller devised an immigration policy that would leave hungry children behind while doing nothing to address our country’s real immigration challenges at all. As always, their approach to immigration starts and ends at attacking and isolating immigrants,” Chu said. The administration estimates the change will affect about 380,000 applications annually, but immigration advocacy groups believe it will affect far more. The U.S. grants green cards to roughly one million foreigners each year, and advocates worry the new regulations could complicate a far higher number of those applications. More here.