CAIR calls proposal ‘cruel and counterproductive’
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/11/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on all Americans who oppose the Trump administration’s proposal to restrict new green cards for those who have participated in public aid programs to add their name to a petition instructing the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to withdraw the proposed rule.
On September 25th, CAIR joined the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), co-chairs of the Protecting Immigrant Families, Advancing our Future campaign (PIF), and over 1,100 other organization in an open statement strongly opposing this proposed rule and urged “the Administration to withdraw this dangerous proposal and work with us to build policies that support immigrants as healthy, productive and successful members of America’s communities and families.”
The proposed rule was officially posted in the Federal Register yesterday, October 10, 2018, beginning a 60-day public comment period before the change takes effect. CAIR will send its petition, along with all signatures, at the end of this period on December 10, 2018. You can also submit your own public comment here.
Current immigration policy only designates immigrants who have received cash welfare or federal help paying for long-term care as public charges, preventing them from obtaining green cards and visas. The proposed new rule would expand that definition of public charge to include those who had ever participated in programs like Medicare, food stamps, and Section 8 housing or who are deemed “likely at any time” to do so. The change would affect over 380,000 people.
CAIR will send the following message as a formal public comment against the proposed rule to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:
“I stand with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, in calling on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to formally withdraw this notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to restrict new green cards for those who have participated in public aid programs or who are deemed “likely at any time” to do so.
I strongly oppose this rule, which threatens the health and well-being of all Americans, including immigrants, and I urge the Administration to withdraw this dangerous proposal and work to build policies that support immigrants as healthy, productive and successful members of America’s communities and families.
I am deeply disturbed by the ambiguity of the standard of “likely at any time” to use public aid and the discriminatory nature with which it could be applied to target specific ethnicities.
I am also concerned by reports that the rule could have negative effects on public health such as increasing use of emergency rooms and scaring immigrant parents from having their children legally vaccinated.
This policy places an undue burden on the working-class immigrants that form the backbone of our economy and puts the wealthy at the front of the line. In doing so, it constitutes a complete abandonment of the American Dream, the fundamental premise of which holds that the United States is a place for those seeking a better life, not just those already living one.
Claiming, as this administration does, that “self-sufficiency has long been a basic principle of United States immigration law” is a grossly anachronistic reading of American history and ignores our nation's longstanding commitment to welcoming immigrants.
Furthermore, not only does the proposed rule change harm immigrant communities, it also implicitly demotes the naturalized citizens also using these public aid programs, like the over 73 million Americans currently enrolled in Medicare, to the status of second-class citizens and sends the message that they are not welcome in this country either.”
On September 24th, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad stated in a CAIR press release that, “Trump’s cruel and counterproductive policy proposal is just another component of a multifaceted effort by a white supremacist and xenophobic administration to prevent the ‘browning’ of America.”
Awad added, “Whether it is the Muslim Ban, the border wall, family separations at the border, or a historically-low refugee cap, this administration is using every means at its disposal to block the entry of those who -- like Donald Trump’s own ancestors -- seek a better life in our nation.”
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.