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Rumors Of Green Card Rule Impact Benefits For Immigrant Families

Rumors Of Green Card Rule Impact Benefits For Immigrants Families. It has been rumored that the Trump administration’s new rule won’t block green cards for those using public benefits, but misinformation has already caused disruption. In late 2017, the rumor that Trump administration would block immigrants using public benefits from getting green cards began, a woman who tested positive to HIV visited the African Services Committee in Harlem. She said since the medication is only available through a government program for low-income people, she was going to stop taking medication that kept her viral load down. As this will affect her negatively. She felt fine, she said, and her priority was reuniting with her children, who lived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. If she couldn’t get a green card, they couldn’t come to the US.

Rumors Of Green Card Rule Impact Benefits For Immigrant Families

Those who use the federal benefit in order to get HIV medication are not actually penalized in the final version of the public charge rule, which instructs immigration officers in charge of processing green card applications to determine whether an immigrant would use public benefits. But the rumor have already impacted tens of thousands of immigrants in New York City, disrupting lives and forcing people into a choice between using vital benefits as well as a chance to reunite with their families.

Director of Advocacy at African Services Committee Amanda Lugg said, “The date of implementation really means nothing in terms of educating the community, folks coming in, anxious about whatever benefits they are on.”

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Ken Cuccinelli,  acting director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), told reporters in an interview that the public charge rule would encourage “self reliance and self sufficiency.” Last week, he also suggest rewriting the famous Status of Liberty poem welcoming the tired poor as well as huddled masses to US shores to say: “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and not become a public burden”

Under this rule, a public charge is now defined as a person who is likely to use benefits such as public housing and food stamps. For instance, an immigrant father that is married to a US citizen and with US citizen children would automatically be penalized in his green card application if he used food stamps for one year in a period of three year.

A waiter/waitress in a restaurant who was a medical doctor in their home country and is paying for classes to have valid medical credentials in the US, while also living in federally subsidized housing, could also be penalized.

According to Marketa Lindy, president of the America Immigration Lawyers Association, said;

Working class immigrants are a vital part of our shared prosperity and have contributed to this nation since its inception. “This rule will not only punish individuals for seeking basic needs and putting families at separation risk – it will do irreparable harm to American businesses as well as communities.”

In accordance with the rule, most public benefits are not part of the rule such as emergency medical assistance, disaster relief, the national school lunch program, Children’s Health Insurance Program (Chip), food pantries as well as homeless shelters.

The director of policy for child and adolescent health at the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York said the scope of programs it does penalize people for using has a wider effects. Alice Bufkin also said that;

When parents don’t have housing, when parents don’t have nutritional support for the whole family, when parents are struggling – that impacts children, that impacts families, that impacts entire communities.”

According the December report by New York City in 2018, an estimated 304,000 low and middle income New Yorkers such as citizens and green card holders would be discouraged from participating in public benefits because of the rule. This includes 72,000 US citizens’ children and 29,000 People With Disabilities (PWD). That chilling effect is estimated to further deepen the poverty gap and also make New York’s economy to be very slow.

Now that the rule has been finalized, advocates have continued their public education campaign and also working with foreign-language media in order to provide the city’s immigrants with accurate information. They are also focused on linking people to immigration experts who can piece through each individual case.