politics stephen miller Trump

Trump ‘Public Charge’ Rule Penalizes Immigrants For Using Food Stamps, Weaponizes Poverty

Another win for Stephen Miller and his overtly controversial agenda.

And now, for your daily dose of immigrant cruelty courtesy of the Trump administration.

In 60 days, new regulations will go into effect in the US aimed at penalizing immigrants who rely on public assistance, such as food stamps, Medicaid and government housing programs.

This has been a long time coming, but that doesn’t make it any less egregious and certainly won’t mute the public outcry. The rule, embedded in full below, will make it much more difficult for low-income immigrants and those who are undereducated, to get visas and green cards. Here’s the gist of it:

Since 1999, the prevailing approach to public charge inadmissibility has been dictated primarily by the May 26, 1999, Field Guidance on Deportability and Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds (1999 Interim Field Guidance), issued by the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).8 Under that approach, “public charge” has been interpreted to mean a person who is “primarily dependent on the Government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance or institutionalization for long-term care at Government expense.”9 As a consequence, an alien’s reliance on or receipt of non-cash benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps; Medicaid; and housing vouchers and other housing subsidies are not currently considered by DHS in determining whether an alien is deemed likely at any time to become a public charge. DHS is revising its interpretation of “public charge” to incorporate consideration of such benefits, and to better ensure that aliens subject to the public charge inadmissibility ground are self-sufficient.

The so-called “public charge” rule has been at the top of Stephen Miller’s list when it comes to what the immigration hardliner wants pushed through in pursuit of his broader agenda, which seeks to reshape the country’s immigration system in the image of Trump’s overtly xenophobic campaign rhetoric.

“L. Francis Cissna, the former director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, had resisted the rush to finish the rule, drafts of which were several hundred pages long and very complicated”, The New York Times writes. It’s no surprise that the rule was finished under Cissna’s successor Ken Cuccinelli, who the Times reminds you is “an immigration hard-liner who shares Miller’s view that immigrants are a drain on taxpayer dollars”.

Cuccinelli spoke to the press on Monday. Here’s the clip:

(If the video does not load, please refresh your page)

Effectively, the new rule will allow the administration to try and dictate the composition of the immigrant population going forward. As Axios notes, rehashing one of the major criticisms of the rule, it will “also likely create a ‘chilling effect’ on immigrants who are eligible to use certain public benefit programs, but choose not to out of fear of being penalized”.

Additionally, immigrants who are already in the country will now likely find it harder to become citizens if they’ve ever used social safety net programs.

“The policy could dramatically reduce family-based legal immigration to the US, particularly from Mexico, Central America and Africa, where economies have been suffering and incomes are lower”, WaPo writes, underlining the thrust of the effort.

“This final rule amends DHS regulations by prescribing how DHS will determine whether an alien applying for admission or adjustment of status is inadmissible to the United States, because he or she is likely at any time to become a public charge”, the rule states. “The final rule includes definitions of certain terms critical to the public charge determination, such as ‘public charge’ and ‘public benefit’, which are not defined in the statute, and explains the factors DHS will consider in the totality of the circumstances when making a public charge inadmissibility determination”.

This was opposed by tens of thousands of people during the comment period, something the government acknowledged when the rule was published in the federal register.

The administration will doubtlessly be sued.

Read the full rule below


6 comments on “Trump ‘Public Charge’ Rule Penalizes Immigrants For Using Food Stamps, Weaponizes Poverty

  1. This is a complicated and emotionally charged topic, that goes to the heart of social polarity. There are massive amounts of Americans struggling to make ends meet, working 2 or more part time jobs and on the verge of failure. These American citizens all probably count on The Affordable Care Act for Medicaid health insurance and many within this group, who are working make less than $16,000 a year, which doesn’t cover food, rent and cost of living. Some of these citizens have disabilities, some are old and have trouble working long hours — and on average, most of these people probably do need assistance. Then along comes a tsunami of illegal immigrants, who all basically want that same package of entitlements. On one hand, it’s easy to suggest that immigrants should be welcomed, in a traditional, historical context, where these incoming people can contribute to our society, making us better, in many ways. I think the key word there is contribute, versus take. If my aging American parents are struggling financially, after decades of hard work and can barely get financial assistance from Uncle Sam, the matter of offering expansive assistance to an immigrant family as a slap in the face, i.e., many wonder why we don’t take better care of Americans in poverty? I can see that point, yet understand that economic hardships, war, violence, abuse, torture, politics do drive masses of people away from their origins, leaving everything, looking for hope and humanity. I think the frothing trump zealots get stuck in a one dimensional, binary focus, looking at themselves and feel threatened by the realities of demographic changes, where many of them feel drawn to kkk-like survivalism, versus a role to lend those in need, a hand. The polarization of demographics reminds me of something Churchill said: ” … It was the nation and the race dwelling around the globe that had the lion heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar”. Churchill, who had his faults, was a stabilizing voice for the Allies and he communicated thoughts that united people, to fight against Fascism — it’s a voice like that, that is needed today, versus the racist mindlessness of trump the psycho tweeter, the symbolic leader of America — who instead of uniting us, finds daily ways to divide us. We have this complex problem of poverty and immigration and chaotic global commerce, along with massive shifts in demographics, all of which are compounded by movements of refugees, who are looking for help. It is sad that we have an idiot in The White House, but, how is the problem of global inequality and poverty to be contained? I think America is too diversified to fully embrace trump excess and to become a totally authoritarian society. Granted, a civil war would help America weigh its moral views, it’s likely that the diverse population we do have will help balance our thinking and find ways to solve this complex equation, where we can help everyone that needs help — that in itself seems impossible.

  2. Had we (the good guys) lost the Civil War, would we have won WWI, or WW2? Why Does Stephen Millers picture make me think of the Nazi’s?

  3. Is this just more anti-immigrant policy or is there a real problem with legal immigrants getting social services?

    My understanding is that legal immigrants are already restricted in their ability to use social services like SNAP……only certain limited categories are eligible.

    Somehow, I doubt if this is about the money.

  4. This unAmerican predatory Orwellian maggot that is Stephen “The Eugenecist” Miller – soulless, perfidious, sociopathic, and gratuitously cruel – is the reason God invented cancer; here’s to putting on my sanctimonious Christ_Inanity megachurch “prayers to smite our enemies” hat! That applies even moreso to perfidious uber-predator, Orangehole: a protracted and pernicious terminal disease decimating the degenerate despot . What a just punishment: a debilitating public sapping of the serial meta-raping “strong leader” (and the attendant psychotic sewage emanating from his Apollyon’s pit of a maw as he degenerates!)

  5. I wonder: what’s the drain on the public purse of immigrants using public assistance vs red-state, Trump-voting Americans?
    I have a feeling that answer might be interesting. And don’t forget, we can now include the farmer handouts in that total

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