Washington, D.C. Sept. 24, 2018 — Yesterday, the Trump administration announced a proposal, known as the “public charge” rule, that would reverse long-standing precedent and disqualify immigrants applying for permanent residency for choosing to meet the basic needs of their families. Melissa Boteach, senior vice president of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response:

The Trump administration will stop at nothing to target immigrant communities, and today’s so-called public charge proposal is a new low: It jeopardizes children in the school cafeteria lunch line, people in need of lifesaving medical care, and immigrant parents working two jobs just to put food on the table. This move goes around Congress to tear families apart and reverse immigration policies and practices that have lasted for nearly a century—through Republican and Democratic administrations alike.

The Trump administration hopes to unilaterally and radically expand the public charge provision of immigration law, which has been abused in the past to keep out Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, LGBT families, and people with disabilities or health conditions seeking to unite with their families.

Just like this administration’s policy of ripping apart families at the border, the public charge proposal goes against our fundamental values and the moral fabric of our nation. Trump’s radical new test prioritizes wealth over family and tells immigrants they better achieve the American dream elsewhere if they want to enter or stay in our country.

The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”