Advocacy groups take issue with the administration’s proposal to withhold green cards from public-aid recipients.
To the Editor:
Re “U.S. Plans to Sharply Restrict New Green Cards for Those on Public Aid” (news article, Sept. 23): The Trump administration’s horrific new “public charge” rule will result in devastation for millions of immigrant families, including Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders who rely on these crucial, often lifesaving, programs to live with dignity.
The chilling effects of this potential expansion would have lasting repercussions on the health and safety of immigrants and their families. In fact, many have already begun unenrolling from social programs out of fear.
The only thing the public-charge rule has succeeded in doing is reinforcing a culture of fear in immigrant communities across the country. Forcing immigrants to choose between ceasing participation in public benefits programs or risk being deemed a public charge is not only cruel and inhumane but also not who we are as a country.
Sung Yeon Choimorrow
The writer is executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.
To the Editor:
By law, those who apply for certain humanitarian forms of relief, including under the Violence Against Women Act, are not subject to the public-charge rule. But survivors are already forgoing critical benefits, unnecessarily fearful of jeopardizing their eligibility for a green card.
Survivors and others applying for permanent residence on grounds unrelated to domestic violence, however, are subject to the public-charge rule. They face a cruel choice: basic, life-sustaining services, or denial of relief and deportation.
Deportation for many survivors results not only in separation from American citizen children, but also in the forced relinquishment of child custody to an abuser.
These proposed changes are already worsening poverty among families, deterring survivors from accessing essential health services, including prenatal care through Medicaid, and will result in more costly and inefficient emergency-room visits.
We should continue to extend the lifeline immigrant survivors need to get back on their feet, which ultimately benefits us all.
Falls Church, Va.
The writer is senior immigration policy counsel for the Tahirih Justice Center.