By Immigration Attorney Natalia Segermeister
In 1882, the phrase “public charge” became codified under United States law.
That same year, President Chester Arthur signed into effect the Chinese Exclusion Act. Now, opponents to President Trump’s proposed immigrant wealth test — the so-called “public charge” rule — claim that it harkens back to those same discriminatory purposes of President Arthur.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the agency through which would-be immigrants apply for green cards and visas. According to the Trump Administration’s proposed policy, USCIS would be able to deny applications based on whether the agency thinks the immigrant would burden taxpayers. This burden would include the expected or potential use of public benefits, such as welfare or subsidized government housing.
At this point, several nationwide injunctions against the rule have come and gone, leaving just one intact. In January, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld the only remaining injunction that prohibits the administration from implementing its public charge rule.
The merits of the case have yet to be decided. Still, advocates welcome the breathing room this remaining injunction offers to immigrant communities, many of whom have already ceased participating in some fundamental welfare programs. This even holds true for immigrant families with United States citizens.
The Trump Administration asserts that the purpose behind its proposed rule is “self-sufficiency.” The administration says that it wants to encourage self-reliance amongst the immigrant community and not allow people to enter the country who might represent a financial hardship on the U.S.
Xiao Wang, a co-founder of a company called Boundless, which helps people traverse the legal immigration system, was happy to hear of the court’s ruling. Wang, an immigrant himself, came to America in search of the American Dream and does not believe that the country’s borders should only be open to the rich.
Nicholas Espiritu, a lawyer for the National Immigration Law Center, says that his group will continue to work with other advocacy organizations and litigate against what he calls a race-based wealth test for immigrants.
The public charge rule is just one part of a larger effort on behalf of the Trump Administration to overhaul the nation’s immigration system. Last October, the White House issued a proclamation to allow the denial of green card and visa applications based on whether potential immigrants could cover their own health insurance and medical costs. That case, too, is in court.
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Alexandria Women for Good donated $6,720 to Alexandria’s Community Lodgings from their first donation cycle! They toured one of the learning centers, met some of the staff and kids, and handed over a big check.
Alexandria Women for Good is a newly formed local Grapevine Giving Circle composed of local Alexandria women who make the commitment to give back to the local community regularly and intentionally. Each quarter they raise money to give to local nonprofits making a difference.
For more information visit: https://www.grapevine.org/giving- circle/3y6h4Ay/Alexandria-Women-for-Good
Hi, my name is Moneim Z., and I am a blind male with chronic kidney disease, who needs a living kidney donor for a transplant. My blood type is B+, and I can accept a kidney from individuals who have blood types B and O.
To read my story, please see the attached letter.
To contact me directly, please email me at [email protected] or call at 571-428-5065. My living donor coordinator at INOVA Hospital, Amileen Cruz can be reached at (703) 776-8370 , or via email at [email protected]