Hundreds of people attended a Citizenship Day event co-sponsored by SVCF in April 2019
On Monday, August 12, the federal administration continued its assault on our country’s immigration system, finally issuing a “public charge” rule that penalizes legal immigrants who want to become naturalized but whose lack of financial resources is judged likely to make them a “public charge” to the country’s welfare system.
Last December, together with more than 60 philanthropic institutions, SVCF submitted a comment to the Department of Homeland Security opposing the proposed rule that now has been published.
Under the new rule, poor immigrants – including those working as farm workers, construction workers and caregivers, for example – who legally entered this country and are applying for a green card and permanent status, will be subject to a harsh “wealth test” to determine whether they are or will become “self-sufficient.” This wealth test is based on whether the individual has used or potentially might use government benefit programs such as food stamps and subsidized housing.
What will be the effect of this rule? SVCF and myriad experts in the immigration field believe that the new rule means that people who wish to apply for a green card will avoid using public benefits at all costs.
This means parents and children will go hungry rather than sign up for food stamps. People in need of health care will stay ill rather than sign up for Medicaid. All the while, these legal immigrants will be contributing to their communities – and the federal government has essentially told them they are unworthy of its care.
This administration believes that not all people are equal. That wealthy immigrants are welcome and poor immigrants – those upon which this country was built – are not.
SVCF will continue to denounce policies that are not consistent with the values that hold this country up. We will continue to fight for “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Others interested in providing support for this work may contact Gina Dalma at firstname.lastname@example.org.