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In the days following the announcement of the Trump administration’s new public charge rule, leading national observers and editorial boards are making a point to spotlight the dangers of this new policy which targets vulnerable communities, slashes legal immigration and threatens the livelihood of immigrant families and communities across the U.S.
The Washington Post’s Amber Phillips: “Trump just did what he couldn’t get Republicans in Congress to agree to”
On this, he and immigration rights advocates agree: This rule is almost unquantifiable in how it could reshape immigration. It could allow wealthier people, largely from whiter countries, to become Americans and limit or even block many poor people, largely from Mexico, Central America and Asia, from becoming naturalized citizens.
…Trump tried to get Congress to limit legal immigration. It didn’t. So now he’s implementing a rule that, more than any wall he campaigned on and kept the government closed for, will vastly change who Americans let into America. It’s an idea so radical that he has had to go it alone without leaders in his own party.
The Wall Street Journal: “The ‘Public-Charge’ Ploy”
We support work requirements for public benefits, and they make sense as part of immigration reform that allows more workers to enter the country legally based on economic demand. But the White House has proposed nothing to expand legal immigration, skilled or unskilled, and all of its recent proposals seem intended to reduce any and all immigration, legal or illegal.
The DHS rule might even drive more folks who are deemed “public charges” to come illegally. The rule looks like one more attempt by White House adviser Stephen Miller to make America a country of no more immigrants.
The Los Angeles Times: “Editorial: Trump’s callous attack on immigrants who need public aid”:
As it is, the government has a long history of rejecting visa requests and green card applications from people who are likely to become dependent on the government for subsistence. That has reasonably been interpreted to mean people who rely on cash support or people who would require institutional care. Major social service programs also are out of reach for most legal immigrants until they’ve been here for five years. And laws already bar those living here without permission from nearly all public support programs.
…The nation will in the coming years need more immigrants with varying levels of skills, especially as birthrates decline and our overall population ages. Policies such as the new public charge rule erect yet another wall in their way.
The Houston Chronicle: “New immigration rules stack the deck against hard-working legal immigrants”:
The new rule expands that notion in two important ways. First, the types of public aid that will disqualify an immigrant will expand, to include non-cash programs such as food stamps, most forms of Medicaid and some housing programs. Second, the new approach, which is set to take effect Oct. 15, would allow immigration officials to make a judgment as to whether the immigrant seeking permanent residency is likely to ever need such aid in the future. If so, he or she can be rejected.
…Confusion over the new rule, proposed last year and released as an 837-page document Monday, has already had a chilling effect on the use of public benefits. By the government’s own estimates, more than 300,000 individuals who are members of households that include noncitizens will quit benefits or choose not to sign up. Experts say that numbermay be much higher.