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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/12/19

Warnings of "Dire Humanitarian Impact" as Trump Finalizes Rule to Punish Immigrants for Using Public Benefits

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"Trump's public charge rule is a xenophobic and classic attack on immigrants."

By Jake Johnson, staff writer

President Trump lays out cruel immigration deal
President Trump lays out cruel immigration deal
(Image by YouTube, Channel: Fox News)
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The Trump administration on Monday finalized a rule that could deny permanent residency -- or "green cards" -- to immigrants who have received public benefits such as food stamps and housing assistance, a move rights groups condemned as an attack on low-income families that could have "a dire humanitarian impact."

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According to CBS News, the long-anticipated policy "would require caseworkers to consider the use of government housing, food, and medical assistance such as the widely-used Section 8 housing vouchers, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Medicare's Part D prescription drug coverage" when examining permanent residency applications.

The 837-page rule (pdf), CBS reported, "would subject immigrant households who fall below certain income thresholds to the 'public charge' test -- which would also consider how well applicants speak, read, and write English. Under the proposed rule, any diagnosed medical condition that requires extensive medical treatment would also 'weigh heavily' in evaluations by caseworkers."

Immigrant rights groups that denounced the plan when it was first unveiled in September raised alarm on Monday and vowed to take legal action against the Trump administration to stop the rule, which is now set to take effect in 62 days.

Marielena Hincapie', executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, called the regulation "a cruel new step toward weaponizing programs that are intended to help people by making them, instead, a means of separating families and sending immigrants and communities of color one message: you are not welcome here."

"This latest racially-motivated policy is a painful reminder that behind [President] Donald Trump's bluster, bureaucrats like [top adviser] Stephen Miller will stop at nothing to attack immigrants and destroy our legal immigration system," Hincapie' said in a statement. "It will have a dire humanitarian impact, forcing some families to forego critical life-saving healthcare and nutrition. The damage will be felt for decades to come."

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National Immigration Law Center✔ @NILC

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4 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments  Post Comment


John Jonik

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Immigrants who've paid taxes during their "illegal" stay in the US ought get their tax money back if it's not used for their benefit.

Submitted on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2019 at 2:28:21 AM

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Old Codger

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Reply to John Jonik:   New Content

The payment of taxes is for the good of all of society. Using your logic, if it exists, then I am entitled to a refund of all my tax dollars since I have not directly or indirectly received any benefit from what I paid in. Of course, we know that isn't realistic because that isn't how taxes are figured. No one is eligible for a refund of their taxes under your example.


As to making citizenship contingent on a person not becoming a burden on others is a good policy. It exists in other countries and does have its merits. America can not afford to become a welfare country.



Submitted on Tuesday, Aug 13, 2019 at 3:07:26 PM

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June Genis

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Reply to Old Codger:   New Content

The problem with the Trump proposal is that it will be applied ex post facto to people who were not warned in advance of the possible consequences of accepting public assistance.

It is not unreasonable to say that immigrants should not be a burden on American taxpayers but that problem can be solved simply by requiring that all immigrants have a sponsor who promises to see that they get any support they need voluntarily. This country admitted thousands om immigrants under those terms in the late 19th and early 20th century. A major example being the Settlement Houses in NYC.

Changing the rules after people have played by them is totally unfair.

Submitted on Wednesday, Aug 14, 2019 at 8:15:29 PM

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Janet Supriano

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Submitted on Wednesday, Aug 14, 2019 at 5:01:08 PM

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