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E-advocacy for November 2018: Urge the Administration to withdraw its “public charge” proposal and protect immigrant families’ rights
The Trump Administration kicks the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free to the curb; only the wealthy need apply for citizenship.
The Trump Administration is making poor legal immigrants choose between basic necessities—food, shelter, and medicine—and the opportunity to advance their immigration status.
Here’s how it is engineering this latest injustice: applications by immigrants for entry to the United States or for a green card are already subject to a “public charge” test; immigrants can be rejected if they are likely to rely on government cash assistance for more than half of their income or long-term medical institutionalization. However, under the changes to the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds rules, government food assistance (like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program “SNAP” benefits, formerly know as “food stamps”), housing benefits (such as public housing, renter’s assistance, and Section 8 housing vouchers), and Medicare prescription drug benefits for older adults will be a heavily weighed negative factor in an immigrant’s application process. As a result, immigrants with legal resident status are withdrawing from public benefits programs in order to protect their immigration status, putting themselves and other family members, including their children, at risk.
Click here to send the Department of Homeland Security a comment in opposition to the proposed changes to the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds rules.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee, in a letter to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, stated: “The proposal is clearly intended to deny basic supports like food, health care, and housing to lawfully present immigrants and their families—including millions of children and U.S. citizens—who pay taxes, work, go to school, and contribute to our country’s economy.”
As Reform Jews, we are commanded to not harm the stranger among us, but to treat them no differently than ourselves (Leviticus 19:33-34). The proposed changes are in direct conflict with our Jewish values and our history as a nation of immigrants, ideals embodied in Emma Lazarus’s poem, “The New Colossus:”