|The DHS’s public charge rule -- which we wrote on last year -- has not yet gone into effect. But already negatively impacts immigrant communities. In Texas, the mere proposal of the public charge rule change contributed to a roughly 150,000 person decline in Medicaid enrollment. Across the country, immigrant families are relying less on public assistance programs. Their health and well-being are suffering in the process. These harms are real. One in seven adults in immigrants report “chilling effects” in their use of public assistance programs. The policies which create these harms rely on the disproven idea that the country is too “full” to accommodate current immigration levels. In fact, immigrants are a boon to both the economy and the national character. Despite this, DHS is reportedly working tirelessly to finalize the new rule. If their efforts are successful, any foreigner “who receives one or more public benefits” would suffer, as would their families and the country as a whole.
The latest rule change to public charge proposed by DOJ pick up right where DHS left off. The changes to public charge proposed by DHS impact immigrants seeking admission to the United States. Those proposed by DOJ impact immigrants that are already vetted and admitted. They would allow the government to deport those who qualify as a public charge. Together, these two rule changes would comprehensively punish immigrants simply for accessing programs that are needed for basic survival. The DOJ’s proposed rule change will be available soon for public comment.
The HUD’s proposed rule change fits with those from both DOJ and DHS. It forces mixed-status families in need of assistance to either break up, forego assistance, or be terminated from the programs on which they rely. If passed, it would subject more than 55,000 children to possible eviction, regardless of if they are U.S. citizens or otherwise eligible for housing benefits. The Trump administration has already made other cuts to housing assistance. The new rule would only make it more difficult for private housing providers to participate in housing assistance programs. Altogether, these rule changes make the Trump administration appear unconcerned with helping immigrants or the country. This administration is engendering fear and chaos among immigrants, their families and the country as a whole.
These changes to U.S. immigration policy reflect the beliefs of White House Senior Advisor Stephen Miller, their principal architect. The centrality of Stephen Miller to this administration’s immigration policies is well documented, as are his white nationalist beliefs. here now exists a broad-based campaign to disavow Stephen Miller and defund these rule changes.