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Elected Officials Express Outrage Following Supreme Court’s Approval of Expanded ‘Public Charge’ Rule

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Jan. 29, 2020 By Kristen Torres

Several Queens elected officials were outraged by the Supreme Court’s ruling Monday that will now make it harder for low-income immigrants to get a green card.

The court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled in favor of new “public charge” rules that will allow officials to deny green cards to immigrants who utilize public services such as Medicaid, housing vouchers and food stamps.

Critics of the new rule argue that it will lead to many immigrants foregoing much-needed social services, since they will be worried about jeopardizing their chances of obtaining a green card.

Congresswoman Grace Meng, who represents central and eastern Queens, slammed the ruling on Twitter Monday.
“This draconian rule will deny them [immigrants] critical safety net programs for health care, housing, food & other basic needs,” Meng wrote.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents portions of north-central Queens and parts of the Bronx, also took to Twitter on Monday, writing that the U.S. shouldn’t have a “wealth test for admission.”

“The American Dream isn’t a private club with a cover charge,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “It’s the possibility of remaking your future.”

City Council Member Francisco Moya, who represents Corona and surrounding areas, echoed the sentiment, saying the Supreme Court’s “blessing” establishes a “wealth test for citizenship.”

Make the Road New York, a national advocacy group, also condemned the Supreme Court ruling, arguing that the policy is racist.

The organization sued the Trump administration when it announced the changes back in August, arguing that it would mostly affect immigrants from predominantly non-white countries, such as those in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia.

The Supreme Court’s decision Monday reversed a ruling from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. That ruling had stopped the policy from going into effect while the lawsuits were ongoing.

The public charge rule previously allowed the government to deny immigrants who would primarily rely on financial governmental support from gaining permanent resident status.

But Trump’s rule expands the types of benefits considered “public support” to include Medicaid, food stamps and federal housing vouchers.

“This decision will hurt immigrant communities,” said Javier Valdés, co-executive director of Make the Road New York, in a statement Monday.

“The Trump administration’s public charge rules attack our loved ones and neighbors by imposing a racist wealth test on the immigration system,” Valdes said. “We will continue our fight in the courts to stop this reckless policy in its tracks.”

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I’m an immigrant and I was never allowed to sponge of the government or the American people. I paid my taxes and waited until I got my green card. Now I look forward to getting help when I’m older.

Why should we give hand outs to every Tom, Dick and Harry who arrives here legally or illegally.

Sara Ross

Somehow they get benefits though. I’d like to see a limit of how long immigrants get food stamps, EBT cards, Section 8 housing, free medical care, NYC ID cards (where they get free everything that people have to pay for), reduced Metrocard (that people have to pay for) and on and on. After 2 years, that’s it. We are not a personal bank for people coming here.


So, preventing illegal immigrants from abusing our tax-funded benefits (that should be for legal immigrants/citizens) is considered immoral and racist? Not relying on food stamps makes you “wealthy”?. Apparently AOC and Meng are jealous of American Citizens that work hard and are financially independent from government subsidies and hate successful people. I applaud this decision and I hope it gets enforced strongly. Good luck trying to sue the US government.


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