September 24, 2018, New York – In response to the Trump administration’s proposal to designate hundreds of thousands of immigrants as potential “public charges,” the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
The Trump Administration’s proposed regulation to deny admission and lawful permanent residence to immigrants who have used or may use even minimal public benefits is maximum cruelty. The Administration is proposing to upend decades of established public policy by dramatically expanding the categories of government assistance that would trigger immigration penalties, with a particular focus on penalizing disabled and elderly immigrants and families with children. While in the past, some applicants for admission or lawful permanent residence have been rejected for depending primarily on cash assistance, the proposed rule would reject immigrants merely for accessing health care, nutrition, or public housing, even if they receive as little as $1,821 per year in non-cash benefits. Demonizing poverty and disability and inflating the well-discredited myth of immigrants as a “tax burden,” the proposal is another attempt to dehumanize immigrants of color in order to further the Administration’s xenophobic, white supremacist agenda. It has the potential to separate hundreds of thousands of immigrants from their family members and to frighten millions away from accessing life-saving support for which they are eligible. Coming after Trump’s bleeding of national resources in order to provide massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest individuals in the country, this attack on working-class immigrant communities, which even the Administration admits will impose billions in costs on immigrants and states and localities, is cynical and immoral.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.