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Detroit’s Immigration Task Force: Statement against the proposed change to the Public Charge by Trump Administration

We, members of the Immigration Task Force, strongly object to the Trump administration’s proposed change to ‘public charge’, which marks a significant and harmful departure from the current policy.

The proposed rule changes the definition of public charge to apply to anyone who is likely to use or has used in the past public benefit programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or Food Stamps), Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy, Housing assistance, and non-emergency Medicaid.

The proposed rule also adopts a new income threshold for households seeking to overcome a ‘public charge’ test by giving negative weight to immigrants who earn less than 125% of the Federal Poverty Level. Additional negative factors include being a child or senior citizen, having limited English proficiency, poor credit history, limited education, a large family, and pre-existing health conditions.

This proposed change has resulted in many immigrant families being afraid of seeking basic needs assistance, instilling fear that individuals who have taken advantage of assistance like Medicaid and food stamps (amongst many other benefits) may result in the rejection of their visa petitions or green cards.

If implemented, this vindictive proposed change will punish many immigrants, especially those present in the U.S. lawfully and those eligible for family-based immigration. It has caused anxiety and sparked confusion, making immigrant families suffer even more under this unnecessary burden.

Even though certain immigrants may be exempt from the rule, such as refugees and asylees, the proposed rule is expected to cause many to disenroll from out of fear and confusion this rule will cause. Research has shown that this chilling effect would extend to 283,000 people in Michigan of which 114,000 are children.

It could potentially worsen the financial security of the families affected, aggravate homelessness and hunger which in turn affects the community at large.

America is a nation of diversity, both demographically and experientially. Diversity is the key to innovation and creativity and it is this diversity that has shaped our values, enriching our nation in the course of history and heritage.

We must stand up against this attack on values of family, community and fairness which form the very fabric that weaved America together.

So, let us work toward moving our nation forward by helping immigrants and their families succeed, because this outcome is crucial for our nation’s progress and future.

 
Copyright © 1989 to 2018 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 12/04/18 12:34:35 -0800.

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