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'Public charge rule' attacks immigrants, town advocate says

The following appeal was written by Beth Soltzberg of the Arlington-Teosinte Sister City Project. She urges the public to oppose the Trump administration's "public charge rule," which she says will devastate legal immigration.

180402002659 mexico migrant caravan full 169"Caravan" of immigrants heading through Mexico in October. / CNN photo

Dear Amigos y Amigas,

Recently, some us met Zulma Tobar and Bernardo Belloso, who visited us from El Salvador and shared updates on issues that affect us across nations: migration and climate change. Here is a quick step you can take on a critical issue about immigration.

As you may know, on Oct. 10 the Trump administration published the "public charge rule." What this means is that use of public benefits can be used to bar an immigrant from receiving a green card.

The rules are incredibly complex, and due to fear and confusion many immigrants (including green-card holders who are not affected by the rule) have already dropped out of public benefits (such as SNAP food stamps, public housing, Medicaid, etc.). This endangers families. Quite simply, children and adults who need nutrition assistance, health care, help at school, etc., are not getting it.

If the rule is approved, it will have devastating consequences for immigrant communities. This is an aggressive, unprecedented move to slash legal immigration.

The public has until Dec. 10 to submit its comments to the Department of Homeland Security. It is essential that as many people as possible do this. Please take five minutes to submit your comment using these steps:

1. To start, click here >>

2. Click on the "COMMENT NOW!" button on the upper right side of your screen.

3. Write your comment. See below for suggestions.

4. Add your name and contact information as prompted.

5. Submit it. You can click on "email receipt" to have a copy emailed to you.

If you prefer, you can submit your comment by mail, following these instructions:

Samantha Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20529-2140.

To ensure proper handling, please reference DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-0012 in your correspondence. Mail must be postmarked by the comment-submission deadline.

Suggested points to raise in your comment:

- This rule is inhumane. All advanced industrialized nations provide public benefits because there are times that individuals or families cannot afford essentials like medical care, food, or housing. This rule endangers immigrants who are in a process to obtain their green card, as well as green card holders who now fear accessing public benefits.

- This rule is addressing a problem that does not exist. Immigrants currently produce economic benefits greater than the value of services that they use.

- The rule would decrease legal immigration. However, legal immigration is essential to the health of our economy. We have a rapidly aging population and will need more immigrants to fill positions as the population's health needs grow. Immigration has always fueled innovation and productivity.

- Your personal perspective, if applicable. Do you have personal experiences using public benefits or as an immigrant that shed light on the impact of this proposed rule? Do you work in an area where immigrants play a vital role? Etc.

- Be polite and professional in your language, but let your passion show.

For more information:

-- Fact sheet >> 

-- New Yorker: Trump's public charge rule is a one-two punch against immigrants and public assistance 

-- Read about scenarios where this rule could bar an immigrant from receiving a green card >> 

This appeal was published Monday, Oct. 22, 2018.

Town of Arlington to LGBTQIA+ students: You belong


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