Chicago, IL – September 24, 2018—The Trump Administration recently announced its plans to deny legal permanent residence visas (popularly known as Green Cards) to immigrants who legally access public food, health, or housing benefits. Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas, issued the following response to this “public charge” policy proposal:
“With this short-sighted and punitive ‘public charge’ proposal, President Trump seeks to drive a wedge between low-income people based on where they were born. The truth of the matter is that the United States trails most other industrialized nations in ensuring minimum social and economic well-being standards for its residents. The United States is both the richest and the most unequal country on the planet: That is the problem we should be trying to solve.
Billions of tax dollars—contributed by US-born and foreign-born workers alike—are being squandered on failed military adventures abroad, militarizing our borders, detaining and deporting asylum seekers, and ripping apart families, all in the dubious name of “security.” Meanwhile we neglect public schools, put health care out of reach for many people, and slash support for affordable housing. All US taxpayers, US-born and foreign-born alike, deserve better returns on their investments.
Immigrant communities make enormous contributions to the wealth generation, tax coffers, and cultural richness of the United States, and provide much-needed workers to our labor markets. For far too long, public policies have treated foreign-born populations as if they were a liability to our nation, as opposed to the invaluable asset they are. The Trump Administration is now taking this erroneous and xenophobic approach to new extremes. As the largest segment of the US foreign-born population, Latin American immigrant communities—and their US-born children—will endure the brunt of this punitive proposal.
In the short term, we call on all people of conscience to speak out against these proposed rule changes during the 60-day window for public comment. Let your legislators know that this mean-spirited attempt to divide us cannot stand. Looking ahead, we call on all registered voters to exercise our right to vote on November 6. We cannot support candidates who prefer scapegoating immigrants instead of making policies that will benefit us all.”
Alianza Americas is a network of 50 immigrant-led organizations representing more than 100,000 families across the United States. It is the only US-based organization rooted in Latino and Caribbean immigrant communities that works transnationally to create an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable way of life. Learn more at alianzaamericas.org.