Press Releases

CAIR, Members of the Public Urge USCIS to Withdraw Trump’s Proposal to Restrict New Green Cards for Those Using Public Aid

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 12/10/18) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, and 287 members of the public, today submitted comments to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) formally requesting that the agency withdraw its 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.

SEE: USCIS-2010-001 Docket Folder

The proposed rule was officially posted in the Federal Register on October 10, kicking off a 60-day public comment period before the change takes effect. CAIR called on members of the public to join in its comments on October 11.  

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.”


CAIR wrote in part to its submission to USCIS:

We strongly oppose this rule, which threatens the health and well-being of all Americans, including immigrants, and we 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.

We are 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.

We are 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 more than 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.”

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.


CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,


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