Category Archives: September 2018

Trump Rule Rigs Immigration for the Super-Rich, Expands Abusive Policy to Put Families at Risk, Advocates Say

September 23, 2018

– National Immigration Law Center: Juan Gastelum (213-375-3149) or Hayley Burgess (202-384-1279), [email protected]
– Center for Law and Social Policy: Tom Salyers (202-607-1074), [email protected]
– Center for American Progress: Julia Cusick (202-495-3682), [email protected]
– National Domestic Workers Alliance: Natalia Jaramillo (786-317-3524),  [email protected]

Trump Rule Rigs Immigration for the Super-Rich, Expands Abusive Policy to Put Families at Risk, Advocates Say

Proposal Would Deny Immigrants for Meeting Basic Needs

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is soon expected to circumvent Congress, proposing regulations to effectively restrict immigration access, based on income. Widely reported by the press, the regulation would put people at risk of immigration denials if they use Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicare’s prescription drug benefit, or other programs. Experts warn that the plan would worsen hunger, unmet health needs, and other problems by making immigrant families — including families with children — afraid to get the help they need. Advocates for economic opportunity and immigrant families charged that the proposal would put wealthy immigrants ahead of families and that it expands a policy that has been historically abused.

White House aide Stephen Miller, architect of the administration’s child separation policy, is reported to have led this “public charge” effort. News reports indicate that the proposal was also developed by an advisor who has personal relationships “with prominent white supremacists and racists.” Historians have warned that public charge regulations have been abused in the past to deny otherwise-eligible applicants access to lawful immigration avenues, based on race and religion. Because it would almost exclusively affect family-based immigrants, the Trump proposal will disproportionately affect families of color, especially Latinos.

Federal law requires that the administration give the public an opportunity to comment on this expansive proposal, when and if it is formally proposed. Commenters will not be required to give their address or divulge their immigration status. Advocates will post updates on, as available.

Responding to the administration’s move, the Center for Law and Social Policy, the National Immigration Law Center, the Center for American Progress, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance issued the following statements:

“The proposal is reckless, deeply unfair, and inconsistent with core American values. It explicitly places a priority on well-off families and ignores families who have waited years to be reunited. This proposal says work and family don’t matter — only money matters. And at a time when one-fourth of children in America have at least one immigrant parent, it’s a direct attack on children. The good news is that by rising up together and fighting back — as we have done against other attacks — we can speak up for immigrant families,” said Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy.

“The Trump administration is trying to achieve through the back door what it hasn’t been able to do through Congress, which is to radically reform the legal immigration system. Through this rule, they want to restrict family immigration as the use of certain programs can prevent families from being reunited, getting a green card, or even becoming naturalized citizens,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center.

“My immigrant mother worked hard to build a better life for herself and her children. But if this proposal had been in place, she likely wouldn’t have had that opportunity, and I wouldn’t be here today. Now, with the flick of a pen, the Trump administration hopes to deny others a chance at the American Dream. The changes to the public charge provision would fundamentally alter our system for family-based immigration. Public charge has a sordid history. It was abused in the past to keep out Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, Irish Catholics, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and unmarried women, among others. Once again, President Trump is prioritizing wealth over family and — just like his policy of tearing thousands of children from their parents at the border — undermining the fundamental values of our nation,” said Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress.

“This is Trump’s latest plot to keep separating families. He is willing to put over 20 million children at risk of malnutrition and disease, just to push his anti-immigrant agenda. This change in rules will punish millions of low-income mothers like domestic workers who take care of our loved ones and our homes, yet often struggle to make enough to take care of their own families and rely on our democracy to keep their families healthy and safe. No parent should have to choose between feeding their children or keeping their family together. Tearing families apart is a choice that we don’t have to keep making,” said Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-chair of the Families Belong Together campaign.


RECORDING of news teleconference (Sun., Sept. 23, 2018): or

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Trump Administration Proposal Would Separate Immigrant Families, Harm Public Health and Wellbeing for All of Us

September 22, 2018

Email: [email protected]
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

Trump Administration Proposal Would Separate Immigrant Families, Harm Public Health and Wellbeing for All of Us

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration today announced it would propose a new rule that would prevent immigrant families on the road to U.S. citizenship from being able to secure permanent lawful immigration status if they utilize any of a vast array of health care supports, nutrition assistance, or other services. Previous versions of the proposed rule have been decried by public health officials, mayors, faith leaders, and anti-poverty advocates due to its breathtaking scope and the potential consequences of such a policy change.

On Saturday, Sept. 22, major news outlets announced the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would post the proposed rule for public comment in the Federal Register.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“Building on the traumatic separation of families at the border, the Trump administration has taken another cruel step. This proposed rule change will similarly result in the separation of families and is just the latest assault on immigrant families. This is an inhumane attack on the health and wellbeing of so many families and communities across the country.

“How you contribute to your community — and not what you look like or the contents of your wallet — should be what matters most. This proposed rule does the opposite and makes clear that the Trump administration continues to prioritize money over family unity by ensuring that only the wealthiest can afford to build a future in this country.

“The Trump administration is using this regulatory backdoor approach because it attempted to enact its draconian agenda of restricting legal immigration through Congress — and failed. This rule change is radical and extreme, and it leaves the door wide open for potential abuse. All of us, regardless of where we were born, suffer when immigrants are penalized for trying to have their basic needs met.

“Whether by ripping families apart, enacting a Muslim ban, ending temporary protected status, or callously holding immigrant youth with DACA hostage to politics, the Trump administration has shown that its appetite for harming the immigrant community is insatiable. This latest attack on immigrants is a cynical ploy to deflect from its current political misfortunes and to attempt to scapegoat immigrants once again just in time for the midterm elections.

“In this case, however, we have the tools to fight back. The comment period for the proposed rule will provide an opportunity for all Americans, regardless of citizenship status, to tell the government that we oppose this rule change. Instead of using an administrative backdoor to attack immigrants, the Trump administration should work with Congress on legislation that would make our communities stronger and healthier. Our power is in our voice, and the time to use it is now.”

To learn more about the Trump administration’s proposed rule change, please visit


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