The rule, announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on September 22, 2018, greatly expands the list of programs that could be considered when an immigrant is applying for a green card. The rule change could cause individuals to dis-enroll from public benefits like nutrition assistance and healthcare out of fear it could make it more difficult to be reunited with loved ones, even though many of these immigrants have a legal right to these services to which they contribute through their taxes. Representative Chu, who introduced the bill along with 49 other members of the House, released the following statement:
“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.
“The so-called ‘public charge’ rule is a blight. It creates two distinct classes of tax payers, creating an unfair “pay-to-play” system. Benefits like SNAP are proven at reducing poverty and improving future achievement, but now, Trump is trying to stigmatize the program – and others like it –so that immigrants will be afraid to use it. Immigrants are our neighbors and co-workers, and play a vital role in our communities. This proposed rule only makes their lives more difficult solely based on where they were born. It is a hateful policy devoid of merit or morality and not one dollar of federal money should be used to implement it, should it become finalized. I’m proud that so many of my colleagues have joined me to stop Trump’s attempt to weaponize federal policy in his hateful war on immigrants.”
The bill text can be found online here.