‘Moral Terrorism’

The Department of Homeland Security’s new “public charge” rule will lead to mass denials of green cards and visas. Starting in October, the Trump administration will begin rejecting those immigrants it deems “likely” to rely on benefits like food stamps, housing subsidies, and other forms of government assistance.

The revamped “public charge” legislation will especially harm noncitizen US residents and migrants with disabilities and will force many into a horrible choice: legally remain in the US or try to access medical care.

The Trump administration will penalize immigrants with disabilities who are the primary beneficiaries of programs like Medicaid or are supported by a household member receiving cash benefits—even if that beneficiary is a US citizen. As a result, health care enrollment will almost certainly decline among the 19 million children of immigrant parents. The advocacy group the Arc calls the proposal “unfair, dangerous, and blatantly discriminatory,” adding that “the rule would exclude people from this country simply because they have a disability.”

Eliot Fishman, the senior director of health policy for Families USA, said the rule “threatens our public health, it threatens citizen children, it threatens noncitizen children, it threatens seniors. Fundamentally, this is an act of moral terrorism.”