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We Stand United Against Trump’s Divisive Public Charge Rule

Western Center’s Mona Tawatao shared her wisdom on the Trump Administration’s proposed Public Charge rules in the California Health Report. An excerpt is below, you can read the full piece here.


In this country, we believe that our value and ability to contribute to society should not be based on how we look or how much money in our wallets. These principles of fairness and equal opportunity are what unite us as a nation.

The Trump administration’s proposed public charge rule flouts these core values. It is yet another one of the President Trump’s schemes to divide us. This is the president who has also torn apart families seeking asylum protection at our southern border and declared a “national emergency,” bypassing Congress and our Constitution, in an attempt to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.   

The proposed public charge rule, introduced last October, would allow the government to favor the wealthy in deciding whether a person can join loved ones or continue on the lawful path to obtain a green card. It would tell families who earn under $62,000 that they need not apply—regardless of what they can contribute to our country.  

study by the Migration Policy Institute predicts that the proposed rule’s arbitrary factors would also favor immigrants from predominantly white countries, versus those from predominantly Latino countries. A rule that would codify a preferential immigration policy based on race would not only violate the fundamental right to equal protection under the law; it would take us backward at a time when so many communities and advocates are moving forward to undo the structural racism embedded in our society. 

The proposed rule further defies common sense in its inconsistency: It says its purpose is to promote self-sufficiency, yet it would penalize people for utilizing, even temporarily, supports like Medicaid and the anti-hunger and nutrition program called SNAP that actually help people remain healthy, go to work, care for their families and do well in school.