Trump Administration Continues Assault on Immigrant Families

AAPI Progressive Action Leads Charge Against Policies Bad for the Economy

WASHINGTON – Twenty-eight days prior to the midterm elections, the Trump administration published a proposed rule that vindictively targets legal immigrants. This rule would put permanent resident status (“green cards”) at risk if immigrant families access necessary resources, such as Medicaid, nutritional programs and public housing, even for a short time, after having paid taxes to support such programs. This proposed rule is a mean-spirited Republican policy, designed to deter legal immigrants from utilizing public assistance and to prevent minorities from becoming permanent residents and eventually obtaining citizenship.

“The Trump administration’s onslaught of attacks against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community for political gain is unprecedented and appalling,” said Tung Nguyen, chair of AAPI Progressive Action. “The travel ban, ending DACA, family separation and now denying green cards for using basic programs that can help AAPIs economically succeed is discriminatory, cruel and un-American. This policy harms our families and our health while hurting the overall economy, since immigrants contribute more to the system than take from it.” 

The proposed rule expands the definition of public charge for determining issuance of green cards and citizenship, and it allows the Trump administration to cherry pick individuals they find deserving of residency in the United States. Use of basic needs programs, including Medicaid, Medicaid Part D, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Section 8 public housing, will be negative factors against those applying for green cards or extension of visas. In addition, age, health status, wealth, assets, and English ability of legal immigrants will also be scrutinized. 

“Immigrants now face a no-win decision if their families have food, shelter and basic health care with the risk of possible deportation,” said Nguyen. “This proposed policy is obviously pandering to anti-immigrant voters for this upcoming cycle. Instead, it will damage local economies and put the health of legal immigrants in jeopardy. Republicans do not deserve to be in power when they instill fear and elitism into government.” 

In response to the proposed rule change, AAPI Progressive Action has developed an online portal that will allow all Americans to fully participate in the democratic process. STAND WITH US AS #OneNation is a portal that will allow you to submit your opposition to the public charge rule change through the official public notice and comment process. You can also access the portal by visiting By taking action, you will help AAPIs and all immigrants have an equal opportunity to succeed.

Joyce Liu