The Trump administration has published a long-in-the-works “public charge” rule change attacking working families by making it easier to deny green cards to immigrants who are legally accessing, or are likely to access, public benefits such as food stamps and public housing. It’s a move to punish immigrants of color and also to slash legal immigration—and it’s not a shock to find out who’s been behind it. “Recent emails from Stephen Miller reveal what we have long known,” Value Our Families said. “The public charge rule is in effect a ban on families, with the singular goal of cutting immigration levels of people of color to the United States.”
“The move will have the greatest impact on poor immigrants who are living in the country legally and are receiving public benefits from the government,” The New York Times reported, “forcing them to make a choice between accepting financial help and living and working in the country legally.” Even in its proposal stage, the discriminatory rule change had already had serious affects, scaring some families into pulling their U.S. citizen kids out of nutrition programs. An official implementation could now affect millions—and Miller has been fighting like hell to make that a reality.
“The White House senior adviser wasn't getting the immigration regulation he wanted, so he sent a series of scorching emails to top immigration officials, calling the department an ‘embarrassment’ for not acting faster,” Politico reported earlier this month. "The public charge reg has been in the works for a year and a half," Miller scolds in one email. "This is time we don't have. I don't care what you need to do to finish it on time."
Last year, providers in at least 18 states said they’d seen drops in enrollment in programs such as WIC. One of these families called Jennifer Mejias-Martinez of the Shawnee County Health Department in Kansas in a panic following reports of the administration’s plan and demanded to be dropped. “They were very, very scared,” she said. In an official capacity, Value Our Families continued, "family-based immigration will be hit hardest by the rule, likely impacting heavily the parents of U.S. citizens, elderly or low-income immigrants, and people with disabilities or health conditions."
“Immigration advocates have pledged to sue the administration in an attempt to block the new regulation from going into effect,” the Times reports. The administration went ahead with the change even as the overwhelming majority of people “opposed the rule in a public comment period over the past several months. The regulation, also known as the public charge rule, was published in the federal register Monday morning with the following acknowledgment: ‘While some commenters provided support for the rule, the vast majority of commenters opposed the rule.’”