ICIRR Vows to Fight Public Charge Proposal

Tue Sep 25 2018

“Granny ban” would radically shift immigration, thwart family unity and opportunity 

CHICAGO (September 25, 2018) – The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is condemning the proposal by the US Department of Homeland Security to radically alter the rules regarding “public charge.” The proposal, released this past weekend, would bar many immigrants from entering the US or getting green cards if they use certain public benefits or based on their age, income, education, and other factors.

“This proposal is yet another attack on working families who want to reunite with relatives and pursue better economic opportunities,” said Lawrence Benito, ICIRR’s chief executive officer. “It sends a dangerous signal that people are welcome here only if they are wealthy. But if you are older, or living with a disability or a chronic preexisting medical condition, or did not have good educational or work opportunities in your home country, you can forget about coming to the US.”

“My grandmother was 63 when she immigrated to the US,” said Fred Tsao, ICIRR’s senior policy counsel. “She spoke no English, had poor eyesight, and had no assets or work history. When she came over she was able to care for my brother and me and enable both of my parents to work full-time to better support the whole family. But if this public charge rule had been in place, it would have barred my grandmother—as it will so many other immigrants who want to rejoin their close relatives and make better lives for themselves and their families.”

The proposed rule follows a litany of attacks on immigrants from the current federal administration.

“The Trump Administration has detained children, banned immigrants from Muslim countries, turned its back on refugees and asylum seekers, and ended protections for immigrant youth and immigrants from ravaged countries,” added Nareman Taha, co-director of Arab American Family Services in Bridgeview. “This rule will create further confusion and fear among immigrant communities that are already terrorized under this administration.”

The proposed rule is expected to formally be posted in the Federal Register in the next several days. The posting will begin a 60-day period when DHS will accept public comments. The rule will not take effect until at least 60 days after DHS publishes a final version after reviewing the comments. Until that happens, the rule is not in effect, and no laws will have changed.

ICIRR is working with our national partners in the Protecting Immigrant Families campaign (led by National Immigration Law Center and Center for Law and Social Policy) and is co-convening the Protecting Immigrant Families Illinois (PIF-IL) table with the Shriver Center, Latino Policy Forum, and Legal Council for Health Justice. PIF and PIF-IL are working with other allies to generate public comments opposing the rule. PIF-IL is also organizing educational sessions and community events, including a media roundtable to provide more information about the proposal and our plans to fight it:

Media roundtable regarding public charge
Thursday, September 27, at 11AM
ICIRR office, 228 S. Wabash, suite 800

More information regarding PIF-IL and public charge is available at www.icirr.org/publiccharge.

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ICIRR is dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society.
©2018 Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
228 S. Wabash, Suite 800
Chicago, Illinois 60604
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