Trump Declares War on Low-Income Immigrants

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Trump regime has published a new rule that will greatly expand the number of applicants who could have their green cards denied or removed if they so much as qualify for public assistance.

Republicans have long said that legal immigrants should not be allowed to access public assistance and should be punished if they do, but the Trump regime will go further than that by rejecting applications if they even qualify or might qualify for assistance in the future.

And as you might imagine, they're reaching very far back into obscure history to find an applicable law to support the new rules.

The sweeping 837-page measure builds on statutory language dating to the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, later reaffirmed in 1952 in the Red Scare-inspired McCarren-Walter Act, that allows immigration officers to deny permanent residency or visas to people deemed likely to become a taxpayer burden. The statutes do not define explicitly what constitutes a “public charge,” but states that age, health, family status, financial resources, education and skills should be taken into account. [...]

The most closely-watched effect will be on immigrants applying to become permanent residents, a step that can lead to eventual citizenship. The Homeland Security Department estimated in the final rule that roughly 382,000 people seeking to adjust their immigration status could be subjected to a public charge review each year.

Can you imagine if immigrants from Europe in the first half of the 20th century who had nothing but the clothes on their backs were turned away because they were poor? Of course you can't, because they were white.

If we're going to say that immigrants below a certain income threshold don't deserve to become Americans, maybe we should apply that to the legions of red hat-wearing white voters who qualify for more assistance than immigrants ever will. Let's apply that standard to farmers who voted for Trump only to see him destroy their business and hand them a bailout.

The new rules were reportedly pushed by Trump's adviser Stephen Miller according to Politico and they will take effect in October unless blocked in court.

  • waspuppet

    So they’re not even bothering with “They have to come in legally” anymore. It’s full-on racism from here on in.

  • muselet

    Stephen Miller is a monster. (So are Ken Cuccinelli, whose cloven hoofprints are all over this proposed regulation, and the Republican Study Committee, which described the regulation in May as “a step in the right direction,” but those are topics for another time.)

    Miller is also remarkably un–self-aware. His maternal great-grandparents—Jewish, monolingual in Yiddish and fleeing pogroms in the Russian Empire—wouldn’t have been considered either white or desirable immigrants by most of the public. Had the proposed regulation been in effect in 1903, Bessie and Wolf Lieb Glotzer would probably not have been allowed to enter the US.

    (I wonder just how potentially self-sufficient a certain Melanija Knavs was when she emigrated to the US, since modeling is an inherently insecure profession.)

    TPM commenter ”labman57”

    Welcome to Trump’s vision of Americana.

    Perhaps we should tear down Lady Liberty and replace her with an equivalent-sized likeness of Trump, his clenched fist raised and his other hand clutching a fistful of cash.

    And instead of “The New Colossus”, the pedestal’s inscription could say:

    ”Wanna come to America? What’s in it for us?”

    Nothing to add.