Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum rejects proposed public charge policy, affecting immigrants

OAKLAND, CA — AJ Titong of the Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum is calling the latest Trump administration proposal — regarding obtaining green cards — another attack on immigrant families.

The Department of Homeland Security may make it more difficult for immigrants to qualify for a green card if they use public benefits — such as food stamps and Medicaid.

“This is a proposed law that would change all the laws. This would give the Trump administration the opportunity to actually take away green cards for our communities based on their age, whether they’re old or they’re young, based on their personal health, based on their use of public health programs.”

Titong says the proposed public charge policy will greatly affect many Asian communities, especially Filipinos.

According to the APIAHF — 31 percent of the 1.1 million immigrants getting green cards each year are from Asia and Pacific island nations.

The Philippines ranks third of the top three Asian and Pacific island countries with people receiving green cards in 2016, following China and India.

Titong adds that immigrants who are abiding by the law are going to be punished by “public charge” because they are too poor to be healthy.

“If you think about getting covered at this public charge rule, you’re kind of left in limbo because you don’t know what to do. You either choose your health or becoming a citizen. Right now, the administration is making difficult for people not so much by saying we’re going to deport you, they’re going to make you go through all these hurdles to get your citizenship.”

The proposal has been published in the federal register for public comment to support or oppose.

The deadline for public comment is Monday, December 10th.

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