Oppose Expansion of “Public Charge” Rule

Please oppose the Trump administration’s new regulations denying legal permanent residency status (green cards) and certain types of visas to immigrants and their family members who have turned to or who are deemed likely to turn to government food, housing and healthcare assistance. Such executive-branch regulations require a period during which members of the public can post comments, before they can be implemented. So it’s important that your voice be heard during this process.

Regulations.gov Document – USCIS-2010-0012-0001

  • To be taken into consideration, public comments must be unique to each person submitting them. Please craft your own message using some of the points below.
  • Some troubling aspects of the rule change include that it would restrict legal residency status (green cards) and certain types of visas for immigrants who are not already relatively well-off
  • lead to the denial of green cards for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who would otherwise be eligible applicants for family-based and employment visas
  • have a chilling effect on families that include both citizen and non-citizen members, causing many to dis-enroll from food, housing and medical assistance programs for which they qualify
  • for the first time, make a specific income threshold a key factor in immigration decisions (incomes under $15,000 for an individual and $31,000 for a family of four would weigh negatively on the application)

In addition,

  • A family income of $63,000 or more would be a positive factor. The median US household income is about $60,000/year.
  • Pulling out of food, housing and medical assistance programs for fear of jeopardizing immigration status will adversely impact the health and well-being of children in these families.
  • Fear of possibly facing a public charge determination will prevent families from applying for these programs in the first place.
  • Migrants and immigrants from poorer parts of the world – those who have a special claim on our generosity – would be totally disadvantaged by this system.
  • This proposed rule change is symptomatic of the profound anti-immigrant sentiment that characterizes the Trump administration and much of the country, a country that was built by immigrants.
  • The additional programs (such as SNAP, housing vouchers, Medicaid) that would now disqualify applicants are programs that help low-income working families meet their nutrition, housing and healthcare needs

How to Help:

Before this proposed public charge rule becomes final law, the public has 60 days, or until December 10, 2018, to submit comments for review and consideration by DHS.  Public officials across the nation, including health administrators and city leaders, have spoken out against the proposed expansion of public charge.

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT EACH COMMENT BE UNIQUE so please refer to some examples below, but do not simply copy and paste. Comments must be submitted in English.

Submit the comments here: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=USCIS-2010-0012-0001

Example Comments (do not copy and paste):

  • No family should have to make the choice between immigration status, stability and protection or receiving public benefits that keep their families fed, healthy and sheltered. This proposed rule would hurt families and the communities they live in, forcing localities to try to meet these vital humanitarian needs through social services, if any are available.
  • Our lives should be defined by how we contribute to our communities, not by what we look like or how much money we have. If this regulation moves forward, only the wealthiest immigrants could build a future in the United States.
  • 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.
  • The regulation would make immigrant families afraid to seek access to healthy food, health care, and housing. This fear would extend far beyond people who may be subject to the “public charge” test. It would harm entire communities as well as the infrastructure that serves all of us. The regulation assumes you can accurately divide people into permanent classes of contributors and non-contributors. This is totally inconsistent with the history of immigration in our country.

The above information is taken from Sisters of Mercy.  For more information please visit their website: https://www.sistersofmercy.org/take-action/