Administration’s latest proposal attacks immigrant families

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — The Department of Homeland Security proposal announced Sept. 22, aims to change the policy for who may qualify to become a lawful permanent resident, putting the interests of the wealthy ahead of the needs of poorer families who have waited years to be reunited.

“The administration has sunk to a new level of cruelty with this proposal to punish immigrants who use government assistance to feed, provide medical care for and house their families,” said Jeanne Atkinson, executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

This cynical tactic, intended to stir anti-immigrant hostility before the November election, is based on flatly inaccurate assumptions “The targets of the proposal are immigrant families, who are no more likely to use publicly funded services than native-born Americans,” she added. Yet it would force people to choose between obtaining green cards and getting needed assistance to which their families are legally allowed.”

“Making families decide between permanent immigration status or ensuring their families have enough to eat is an astonishingly cynical and heartless attack on families for political reasons,” said Atkinson.

The administration’s announcement and release of the draft of the proposed rule signals an urgent need to prepare for the next step – the release of the official Notice of Public Rule Making, or NPRM, in the Federal Register. Once the NPRM is released, the public is expected to have 60 days to submit comments on how the rule should be changed before it is final. CLINIC and its network will join with our many partners in the faith community, in legal circles and social service sectors in opposing this regulation change.

CLINIC has prepared an initial legal analysis of the proposed changes, which can be found here.