Press Release

AFT Condemns White House ‘Public Charge’ Rule

For Release: 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


Oriana Korin

WASHINGTON—Today, the Trump administration is expected to formally issue a rule that enables the Department of Homeland Security to deny green cards to immigrant families that have accessed social services like Medicaid or food assistance programs.

AFT President Randi Weingarten said:

“The Trump administration continues to use hate and fear to promote a brand of nationalism that rejects the very values on which our country was built. 

“Today in America, this White House is ripping apart families and putting children in cages, yet simultaneously expecting immigrant families to secure stable jobs, pay for healthcare, and never ask for any help. It is the height of hypocrisy, and it won’t work. Scaring vulnerable communities off public assistance by threatening their immigration status is cruel and inhumane, and it only costs us more down the road.

“Immigrants come to the United States seeking the opportunity to build a better life, and when we punish them for accessing the tools they need to succeed, we pull the ladder of opportunity right out from underneath them. Punishing immigrants has harmful consequences for our communities and our economy, as people revert to living in the shadows again, fearing the authorities and working off the books.

“Make no mistake about it: At a time when real weekly earnings for full-time, middle-wage workers haven’t grown at all since early 2017, denying green cards to people effectively based on their socio-economic status is not just an attack on immigrant families, but on working families as well. We must fight back against these draconian efforts to destroy our communities and the brilliant tapestry of colors, backgrounds and beliefs that makes our country great.”


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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.