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What if you are an immigrant who has to choose between accessing health care services to stay healthy and able to work OR keeping your family together in the U.S.?
What if you are an immigrant mother who must choose between buying groceries for your US-born children or staying in the U.S.?
This could become reality under a new proposed regulation where immigrants must choose between basic services, like health care and food stamps, or keeping their family together in the U.S. The federal government can decide if you can become a green card holder based on the public assistance you receive and other factors, like age, health, family size, education, and how well you speak English. Under this proposed rule, immigrants would be criminalized for using public benefits, a federal service granted to those living under the federal poverty line. The federal government would not allow you or your family members to immigrate to the United States if you are likely to use public benefits after migrating. Generations of immigrants in the last two centuries would not have made it to the United States under this rule.
The proposed public charge rule affects immigrants who are applying to become Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR’s or green card holders) or looking to extend or change the category of a nonimmigrant visa. According to the proposed rule, immigrant households of four earning less than $63,000 are flagged under negative scrutiny for the public charge test. This proposed rule is not about saving taxpayer dollars as this government still refuses to tax the 1%, but insists on punishing people for using the public benefits they are entitled to. It is to prevent as many immigrants as possible from becoming legal permanent residents. It is part of a series of attacks on all immigrant communities and their families.
Send your comment to demand that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security stop this regulation.
Here are key messages that can be used to create a compelling comment:
According to a recent Pew Research Center study, nearly 472,000 or 10.4% of the approximately five million South Asians in the United States live in poverty.
In 2015, eight of the nineteen disaggregated Asian American groups had poverty rates higher than the U.S. average. Among those, Pakistani (15.8%), Nepali (23.9%), Bangladeshi (24.2%), and Bhutanese (33.3%) had the highest poverty rates among South Asian American groups.
The public charge rule is a discriminatory policy that targets and punishes South Asian Americans for using government programs. If this ruling goes into effect, a significant percentage of the nearly 5 million South Asians living in the United States would become a public charge simply for using public benefits. This would deny them the right to extend nonimmigrant visas, change nonimmigrant status, or gain Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR) also known as green cards.
The new rule will negatively impact South Asian American communities, as over 10% of green card recipients in FY 2016 were from South Asian countries.
A 2017 Pew Research Center report states that, ten of the nineteen Asian American groups earned less than $60,000 annually. Among those, Bangladeshis and Nepalis had the lowest household incomes, earning $49,800 and $43,500 respectively. The data on income and poverty shows that our communities would be targeted under the public charge rule and in turn denied Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR) and subject to deportation. We cannot let this happen.
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