Muslim Advocates Condemns Administration’s Effort to Deny Citizenship to Low-Income Families

Civil Rights Group Files Official Comment Opposing Proposed Public Charge Rule

Today, Muslim Advocates filed a public comment criticizing the Trump administration’s proposed rule on the public charge policy that would reduce citizenship opportunities for working class immigrants and immigrants of color.

The comment argues that the proposed rule would chill the legitimate use of public benefits by noncitizens, including public benefits that allow families access to food and medical assistance—even if the families have U.S. citizen children. The proposed rule seeks to bar aspiring citizens who have relied on government assistance to deal with economic hardship from receiving immigration benefits.  If it were to go into effect, the rule would disproportionately fracture minority families and cause lasting harm to minority communities.

As the filing states, “This Proposed Rule is a dramatic departure from more than a century of legislative, administrative, and judicial agreement on the standards by which public charge grounds for inadmissibility should be considered. The Proposed Rule is arbitrary and capricious, unreasonable on the merits, and will have a disproportionate negative impact on communities of Latin American, Asian, and African origin. We strongly urge [DHS] to reject this rule.”

“This proposed rule is yet another attempt by the administration to set traps for immigrant families and immigrants of color,” said Sirine Shebaya, senior staff attorney at Muslim Advocates.  “The proposed changes depart from decades of well-established agency practice, are unreasonable on the merits, and potentially put the lives and well-being of children in danger. We join thousands of organizations and individuals in opposing this proposed rule and urge the administration to reject it.”