Trump’s Proposed “Public Charge” Rule Intensifies War on Legal Immigrants

On September 22, 2018, the Trump administration announced the upcoming publication of a proposed rule that if implemented as written, would prevent immigrants from securing lawful permanent residence and remaining with their families in the United States, simply because at any time in the past, they received some type of basic health care support, nutrition assistance, or other vital services.

Prior versions of this rule have been leaked in the press and have been soundly criticized by city officials, public health administrators, faith-based groups and others across the country due to the far-reaching implications it would have on the health and well-being of U.S. families.

  • The proposed rule would raise the invisible wall to massive new heights. Under the proposal, millions of current and aspiring immigrants who have done nothing wrong and simply followed the rules could be separated from their families and prevented from pursuing the American dream. The proposed rule is the Trump administration’s latest assault on immigrant families who are integral to the fabric of American society and have been pivotal to our nation’s success.
  • The proposed rule would weaken America. Americans evaluating this proposal should ask themselves whether they would be here had the government held their ancestors to the standards articulated in the rule. Far and wide, the answer is no.
  • This plan will damage the American economy by jeopardizing the ability of hard-working, entrepreneurial immigrants from obtaining permanent residence. Overwhelming nonpartisan evidence and analysis shows that working-class immigrants are essential to a strong U.S. economy. They elevate GDP, boost tax revenue, grow the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, and create jobs for native-born American workers on a wide scale. This proposed rule would weaken our economy by creating arbitrary barriers to lawful status for those who may be just starting out on their path to economic prosperity.
  • From an operational perspective, the rule will increase USCIS case processing delays that have already reached crisis proportions. Pervasive delays in USCIS processing of immigration benefit applications upend the lives of immigrants and U.S. citizens alike. They cause job loss, prolong the separation of families, and threaten the viability of American businesses. This rule would impose a massive administrative burden on USCIS that will only exacerbate those delays.
  • The proposed rule is just that – a proposed rule. It is not the law and the public will have the opportunity to prevent it from becoming the law, by submitting comments in opposition to it once it is officially published. More details on how to do just that will be forthcoming when the rule is formally published.
  • This rule represents yet another attempt by the Trump administration to fundamentally change our immigration system without Congressional action. We call upon Congress to once and for all, pass immigration legislation that recognizes the importance of the family unit and that facilitates the development of strong communities.

Source: Am. Imm. Lawyers Ass’n

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