On Monday, the Trump administration rolled out a new rule aimed at penalizing immigrants who rely on public assistance, such as food stamps, Medicaid and government housing programs.
By virtually all accounts, the regulation will make it more difficult for low-income immigrants and those who are undereducated, to get visas and green cards.
As detailed here on Monday, the so-called “public charge” rule has been at the top of Stephen Miller’s list for quite a while, and it will essentially allow the administration to try and dictate the composition of the immigrant population going forward.
Ken Cuccinelli came under intense media scrutiny this week for (almost literally) suggesting the US should rewrite Emma Lazarus’s “The New Colossus”.
Satirists have long joked that the administration wanted to have the poem removed from the Statue of Liberty. As of this week, that is no longer confined to the realm of satire, although Cuccinelli probably won’t take a chisel to Lady Liberty anytime soon.
Fast forward to Saturday and according to the ubiquitous “people familiar with the matter”, Miller for months sought to prevent undocumented migrant children from attending public schools, in defiance of a decades-old Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing access to free public education.
Sources told Bloomberg that although the push was eventually (and likely begrudgingly) abandoned by Miller in deference to the high court, the architect of Trump’s immigration regime “press[ed] cabinet officials and members of the White House Domestic Policy Council repeatedly to devise a way to limit enrollment” starting shortly after the president took office.
The effort, had it somehow been successful, would have granted states the authority to deny access to education to an estimated three-quarters of a million children (that figure is based on five-year-old statistics, which means the number is probably larger now).
A guidance memo to that effect was “considered”, but never issued.
As Bloomberg goes on to note, 2014 guidance aimed at making it easier for children to enroll made districts accept utility bills and leases as proof of residency, given that “public schools have an obligation to enroll students regardless of immigration status” and driver’s licenses or Social Security cards are obviously not available to parents in the US illegally.
A similar push to that envisioned by Miller was made in 1996, but ran into a veto threat from then President Clinton.