David Hernández: ‘Public charge’ rule has more teeth than is obvious

Published: 9/17/2019 11:00:17 PM

Laurie Millman does an excellent job analyzing the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule changes and how the bureaucratic move completely misreads the contributions of immigrants to this country (“The fallacy of the rule of public charge,” Sept. 3)

The administrative tinkering, seemingly mundane yet impactful, has more teeth than might be obvious. It should be viewed in the context of the recent massive workplace raids in Mississippi, where 680 breadwinners were arrested and placed in deportation proceedings. The loss of their incomes will create the need for public benefits, such as health care and food stamps — benefits that the remaining lawful family members are eligible for.

Yet these life-sustaining benefits will also jeopardize future legal options for those remaining in the country. In short, Trump cynically creates the problem he intends to solve, in a veiled attempt at shifting the racial composition of the nation.

The rule change also weaponizes U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, alongside U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, turning into an enforcement arm of the government. This will not be lost on “abolish ICE” protesters who ought to widen their opposition.

David Hernández


The writer is an associate professor of Latina/o Studies at Mount Holyoke College.


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy