On August 14, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the final draft of its proposed expansion of the “public charge” rule.
The rule, which modifies the Immigration and Nationality Act, makes it more difficult for immigrants to obtain their green cards or stay in the country permanently if they have used or are likely to use public benefits like Medicaid, food stamps or Section 8 vouchers.
The policy, which will go into effect on October 15, means poor immigrants will have a harder time coming and staying in the country. It also means immigrant families who already have a life here will not apply for government serves that they need to survive.
The public charge rule, a continuation of nativist policies authored by White House adviser Stephen Miller, would harm New York City, which is home to more than 3 million immigrants.
According to city statistics, immigrants comprise nearly 37 percent of the city’s population and 45 percent of its workforce. All studies indicate that, regardless of education or income levels, immigrants across the board are more likely to participate in the workforce.
Low-income immigrants may rely on public assistance, and at comparable rates as native-borns Americans, but they contribute mightily to the economy by taking crucial jobs that need to be filled.
It seems that the Trump administration doesn’t care about that. They know the impact of the public charge rule is widespread fear among immigrants, deterring them from seeking public benefits.
Reports already say that public programs like Medicaid and SNAP have already seen decreased enrollment, even before the rule is implemented.
So much for “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
The administration only wants your wealthy white immigrants –– if they want anyone coming into the country at all.