Latest Public Charge Rule Change is Racist

Latest Public Charge Rule Is A Racist, Anti-Immigrant Change to America’s Immigration Laws

Monday, August 12th, 2019-- This morning, the Trump administration posted the new public charge rule that is set to be published on the Federal Registrar on Wednesday, August 14th and to go into effect in 60 days on October 15th. The impacts of this rule change will affect all immigrants, specifically targeting permanent residents, and those applying for visas for entry to the U.S. The following is a statement from Johanna Calle, director of New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice. 

“Further expanding public charge is another racist and anti-immigrant attack by the Trump administration on hard-working immigrants and their families. The Trump administration is sending the message yet again that immigrants are not welcome unless they are wealthy. 

“Most immigrants are already not eligible from accessing most public benefits and further expanding the ineligibility is just another cruel attack on immigrant families that will keep even eligible children from accessing needed services. This rule change further stokes fear in our communities and fans the flames of anti-immigrant myths that accuse immigrants of taking earned benefits they don’t deserve.

“Health care providers, service providers, and community leaders have spoken out against the chilling effects of the rule on the use of services, not just by immigrants but also their U.S. born children out of fear of exclusion from potential citizenship. The new rule impacts every aspect of immigrant life from English language proficiency to access to medical services. It creates a wealth burden on new immigrants that harkens back to the racist 19th-century immigration laws that excluded certain immigrants from entry based on race and nationality. The Trump administration is taking our policies backward into an explicitly racist era of American history. 

“Over the last ten months, since the public charge rule has been under consideration, reports indicate immigrants are already hindered from accessing and applying for necessary services. In New Jersey, immigrant communities and public agencies alike need education about how this impacts families in our communities. We call on New Jersey’s leadership to work to make sure every agency and service provider in the state knows how to address the changes in the public charge rule without discrimination based on immigration status.”