PDF Version

Asian Americans Advancing Justice Condemns Public Charge Rule Changes


Norcross, GA, August 13, 2019 — Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a final rule making sweeping changes to the “public charge” test that will disproportionately block immigrants of color from obtaining green cards, inhibit immigrant workers and foreign students from extending or changing their visas, and undermine the ability of green card holders to re-enter the U.S. if they have spent more than 6 months abroad. The new rule dramatically expands the public charge ground of exclusion from a limited inquiry into whether an immigrant relies on the government for cash assistance or institutional care to an extraordinarily broad test that will exclude anyone who may use, at any time in the future, one of the supplemental benefits that millions of working Americans rely upon, such as non-emergency Medicaid, food stamps, and subsidized housing.

The new rule will impose an unprecedented test to assess future benefits use that will penalize immigrant children, immigrant seniors, and all immigrants who are low-income, limited English proficient, and lack access to private health insurance, educational opportunities, and credit. According to a report by Migration Policy Institute, more than 941,000 recent green card holders, including 300,000 from Asian countries, would likely have been excluded if the rule had already been in effect when they applied.

Despite the widespread outcry that led to over 260,000 public comments in the months following the proposed rule, the changes to the public charge criteria will go into effect 60 daysafter formal publication scheduled for tomorrow.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five civil rights organizations, issues the following statement:

“We strongly condemn the Trump administration’s changes to the public charge rule. This racist policy seeks to dramatically undermine the family-based immigration system that has been the backbone of our country and instead prioritizes wealthy immigrants. The public charge rule change continues the administration’s inhumane assault on immigrant families by increasing denials of green card applicants.

Public benefits are essential to helping families thrive. Weighing the likelihood of future benefit use, along with discriminatory factors such as English language proficiency and the age of an aspiring citizen, is unjust. The administration has intentionally sought to scare immigrants and their families from using public benefits. Since the rule change was proposed at the end of 2018, over 13% of immigrant adults are reported to have dropped their use of public benefits out of fear of risking their future green card status. With the rules now final, the effect will be even more devastating for our communities.

As a nation, we should prioritize accessible pathways to residency and eventually citizenship, reuniting families, and helping them succeed. Immigrant families deserve the right to reunite with their loved ones and use programs to ensure they are healthy, safe, and thriving. We call on the administration to cease their attack on immigrants and communities of color.”

October 1, 2019: Asian American Groups Applaud Decision to Uphold Race-Conscious Admissions at Harvard

September 26, 2019: Advancing Justice-Atlanta celebrates 9th Annual Community Champions Gala

September 11, 2019: ADVANCING JUSTICE AND BANK OF AMERICA HOLD EVENT TO ENCOURAGE IMMIGRANTS TO NATURALIZE IN TIME TO VOTE IN 2020 ELECTION

August 13, 2019: Asian Americans Advancing Justice Condemns Public Charge Rule Changes

June 27, 2019: BREAKING NEWS: No Citizenship Question on the 2020 Census – the Fight Continues

June 21, 2019: [MEDIA ADVISORY] ALERT: ICE Raids Anticipated in Atlanta, GA

June 11, 2019: Press Conference: Advancing Justice - AAJC and Advancing Justice - LA Launch New Report on Immigration

May 15, 2019: Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta to host Citizenship Clinic in Macon

April 30, 2019: Post-Lawsuit, Georgia Gives Voters Freedom To Choose Their Interpreters

April 10, 2019: Free Citizenship Clinic hosted by Korean American Organizations with the support of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta

April 5, 2019: Georgia Largely Abandons Its Broken “Exact Match” Voter Registration Process

March 26, 2019: Asian Americans Advancing Justice Welcomes Legislation to Protect Immigrants

March 25, 2019: Immigrant Rights Advocates Support Bill to Provide Driver's Licenses for All

March 16, 2019: Asian Americans Advancing Justice Condemns Terrorist Attack on Muslim Worshippers in New Zealand

March 12, 2019: Asian Americans Advancing Justice Denounces White House Fiscal Year 2020 Budget

March 12, 2019: Congress Must Pass the Dream and Promise Act to Protect DACA and TPS Recipients

February 15, 2019: ASIAN AMERICANS ADVANCING JUSTICE OPPOSES THE PRESIDENT’S ILLEGAL VANITY WALL

February 6, 2019: Trump’s SOTU Address Not Reflective of American Values

February 4, 2019: Community groups and organizations to host a Town Hall on Gwinnett Marta Referendum

February 1, 2019: Advocates and Directly Impacted Communities Organize National Week of Action to End Southeast Asian Deportations

January 19, 2019: NO DEAL: Senator McConnell and the President Should Reopen the Government Immediately

January 17, 2019: Organizations across the country to launch National Week of Action to End Southeast Asian Deportations

January 4, 2019: Asian Americans Advancing Justice Applauds Congressional Efforts to Allow Access to the Ballot Box for all Eligible Voters