With five days left before the new public charge rule of the Donald Trump government, activists, organizations that defend the rights of immigrants and lawyers recommend caution, but above all to know what the changes are about and what programs are not They will be affected.
"There is a lot of misinformation on the street," Angélica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Human Rights of Immigrants in Los Angeles (CHIRLA) in California, tells Univision Noticias. "People have little information on the subject and the government has not tried to teach the community which programs will be affected and which will not."
Salas said that due to the confusion generated from August, when the final rule was announced, “parents were scared and stopped taking their children to the doctor in the fear that, in the future, if they ask for an immigration benefit , deny them and deport them. ”RELATED
"From this point of view it is unacceptable," said the activist. “There is little information. Organizations are helping in this and we are telling the community to be informed, to be clear about what programs they can use and what programs they cannot. And that each state will have its own regulation. ”
Not everyone will be affected
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) states that the new 'public charge' rule “does not apply to immigration applications that have been submitted before October 15, 2019,” and that “many immigrants remain eligible for benefit programs. public and should not affect them. ”
Among the group of immigrants who will not be affected by the new norm are asylees, refugees, U visa holders, Special Young Immigrants, T visa holders, VAWA applicants (domestic violence victims), and most residents permanent legal (green card), indicates the organization.
The ILRC adds that “the new rule does not change who is eligible for health and benefits programs. Immigrants who are currently eligible for public benefits will remain eligible. ”
He adds that in the state of California, for example, "children under 21 and pregnant women will also not be penalized under the new public charge rule for using (the program) Medicaid / Medi-Cal."
In addition, he notes, "many government-funded services are still safe to use and will not cause any immigration damage." These programs include free or reduced-price school lunches, disaster assistance and the Head Start program.
Since it was first announced in October of last year, and the publication in August of the new rule, "the community fell prey to fear, but fear does not help in these cases," says Alex Gálvez, an immigration lawyer who He practices in Los Angeles, California.
“First, because wrong decisions are made. And second, because parents with children suffering from chronic diseases, such as cerebral palsy, they were removed from programs that will not be affected when the new norm enters into force, ”he explained.
Galvez said that the list of programs that will not be affected is long, and he recommended that immigrants "inform themselves, go to more community assistance organizations, what will affect them or not in the future, or talk to their lawyers."
For Jaime Barrón, an immigration lawyer who practices in Dallas, Texas, "the concerns are also due to the fact that the new rule is long and unclear."
“It is not yet known how they will apply it and who will be affected. That's why they are scared from naturalized citizens to immigrants who have just arrived in the United States. We hope that over time we will know details about the procedures used by the government to understand its application, ”he said.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will activate the new ‘public charge’ rule starting October 15, unless the government stops it or the courts freeze it.
A few days after being published in the Federal Register, the California attorney general, along with a dozen other public officials, sued the Trump administration for "using housing, health and food" as a weapon to harm workers Immigrants from that state.
In turn, a group of organizations that provide services and assistance to immigrants in New York filed another lawsuit in August before a federal court against the government for the new rule.
The plaintiffs argue that government policy is aimed at creating a country of whites and rich people, arguing that, if it goes into effect, "it will have a chilling impact on potentially millions of families."
"We have filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration rule to help ensure that our clients and all New York immigrants can continue to access the public assistance programs they and their families need to thrive," said The Legal Aid Society group. from New York.
What is it about
The new rule was announced on August 13. After knowing the details of the measure, which is part of Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policy, lawyers said it is an "attack" on immigrants with papers in order, the first large-scale government since Trump arrived to the White House in January 2017.
The new provision, which would come into effect after a 60-day public comment period, will not only affect future immigrants, but also blocks legal immigration when adjusting their status to permanent legal residents (green card) and also to his immediate relatives.
In accordance with the announced policy, legal immigrants who use public aid will run the risk of facing deportation lawsuits in case they request a change of status and deny them the request under threat of co-investing in a burden on the State.
If it enters into force, "the new rule will fundamentally change who we are as a country, transforming us from a country that welcomes people who want to strive to improve their lives, into a country manipulated to favor the rich," said the National Immigration Law Center (NILC).
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