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SPLC: Trump administration ‘public charge' rule purposefully cruel, punishes those most in need

The Federal Register today published a new Trump regulation known as the public charge rule that targets legal immigrants who rely on public programs, such as food stamps and government-subsidized housing.

The following statement is of Karen Baynes-Dunning, interim president and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“The Trump administration is pursuing this policy over the objection of millions of people who do not want to see America’s promise to be a nation of immigrants diminished. They are targeting low-income people who work in this country legally to send a message that black and brown people are not welcome in our country. They want to hurt families who are struggling to make ends meet specifically because they are immigrants. They want to cut off aid for things like housing because they want to make it harder for immigrants to find a home, build a family and participate in our society. Make no mistake, the abject cruelty of this administration’s immigration agenda is the point of this policy.”

The following statement is of Samuel Brooke, Deputy Legal Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“We are a country that helps those in need. Today’s latest attack on immigrants and children tramples on that tradition. It is xenophobic, and perversely punishes those who could most benefit from public assistance. These planned changes are part of the Trump administration’s broader effort to penalize immigrants, and their children who are often U.S. citizens, for accessing critical public assistance programs, including essential nutritional and health care services. These misguided changes explicitly discourage those who are qualified and eligible for help from seeking it, and will actually increase the long-term cost of malnutrition and emergency health care, while causing untold hardship and pain in the short term. This is not what we as a country stand for.”