Trump ‘public charge’ immigration rule would ‘codify discrimination,’ says Rep. Marcia Fudge

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Warrensville Heights Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge says a new Trump administration rule that would deny green cards to legal immigrants if they’re perceived to need public assistance would “codify discrimination.”

A Department of Homeland Security rule finalized in August would turn away prospective immigrants who it deems likely to rely on government support for a significant period to meet their basic needs. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service says self-sufficiency has “long been a basic principle of immigration law,” and the new rule will guide determinations of whether an applicant is likely to become a public charge.

DHS says its decisions will factor in immigrant receipt of benefits including Supplemental Security Income, federally funded Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, public housing assistance, federal state or local cash assistance, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Some categories of immigrants, like refugees, asylees, and some types of trafficking or crime victims wouldn’t be subject to the rule.

“Throughout our history, self-sufficiency has been a core tenet of the American dream,” said a statement USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli made when the rule was announced. “Self-reliance, industriousness, and perseverance laid the foundation of our nation and have defined generations of hardworking immigrants seeking opportunity in the United States ever since. Through the enforcement of the public charge inadmissibility law, we will promote these long-standing ideals and immigrant success.”

Fudge, who chairs the House Agriculture Subcommittee that oversees SNAP benefits, issued a statement on Wednesday calling the new rule ” nothing more than the Administration’s attempt to codify discrimination,” and said the legal brief brief makes it clear the House of Representatives “will not stand for it.”

“The rule allows for discrimination in both its application and enforcement by allowing the Federal government to use racial and ethnic profiling to guess which legal immigrants might eventually need access to public assistance,” Fudge’s statement said. ” It’s also important to remember the Administration’s rule targets people who are here in this country legally and, therefore, entitled to apply for assistance, if they need it. This attempt to regulate by stereotype is un-American and a new, shameful low.”

By Sabrina Eaton for
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