Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Black women denounce new ‘public charge’ rule

From In Our Own Voice

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has issued a new rule, which significantly broadens the criteria under which a documented immigrant applying for a green card or petitioning to extend their visa would be considered a “public charge.” (Public charge is a term used in immigration law to refer to a person primarily dependent on the government for support.) For decades, the designation of public charge has been limited to immigrants who receive direct cash assistance from the federal government. The new rule expands the definition to include programs that low-income immigrants can currently access legally while on the path to both permanent residence and financial stability, including assistance accessing health care through Medicaid, nutrition through SNAP and housing through Section 8 vouchers. 

Marcela Howell, founder and executive director of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, issued the following statement in response:

“The Trump administration’s decision to cut the safety net out from under immigrant families is yet another deliberate act of cruelty. This new rule is the latest in a long list of cynical efforts by this administration to persecute immigrants and roll back their legal protections. From separating children from their parents to mass raids to cutting off basic supports like healthcare, housing and food, Trump and his subordinates continue to show depraved indifference to basic human rights. All of these actions have devastating consequences for the safety and wellbeing of immigrants. All of these attacks against immigrants mock the very words etched on the Statue of Liberty, beckoning other countries to send to the U.S. ‘your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’

“This administration’s incessant targeting of marginalized groups — including immigrants, LGBTQ people, women and people of color — is emblematic of the normalization of white supremacists in positions of power in the Trump era. We will continue to stand with immigrants and all who are targeted by Trump. We call on elected officials in Congress and across the country to join us in resisting Trump’s hateful vendetta against immigrants.

“As Black women, we understand how it feels to be stripped of our rights, denied access to basic human needs and separated from our children and families. We demand that America live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all.”


In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is a national reproductive justice organization focused on lifting up the voices of Black women at the national and regional levels in our ongoing policy fight to secure reproductive justice for all women and girls. Our eight strategic partners include Black Women for Wellness, Black Women’s Health Imperative, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, SisterLove, Inc. SisterReach, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, The Afiya Center and Women With A Vision.



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