Dustin Hare, an advocate working with Community Health Council of Wyandotte County and Historic Northeast-Midtown Association, shares his comment on the proposed changes to the “public charge” rule. The Department of Homeland Security is accepting comments to the proposed changes through December 10. We’re encouraging all our friends to speak out and make their own unique comment.
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The proposed Public Charge rule change would endanger communities, harm families, and destroy lives. This rule change is dripping with unmasked racism, and it would undercut efforts to address hunger, sickness, and poverty by deterring immigrant families from accessing critical public programs.
At its core, the proposal seeks to strike fear into hardworking immigrant families, and force them off of lifesaving, supplemental benefits that are used by tens of millions of Americans who are suffering under decades of plutocratic rule.
Public assistance programs, which are used most heavily by white, rural, working-class families, have been developed to help those who are suffering within an unfair, unequal, and unjust system, where salaries among the bottom 90% of workers in our country have remained stagnant for 4 decades.
These programs are absolutely necessary for survival for so many citizens who were not lucky enough to be born into an upper-middle-class family. This rule change puts non-citizen Americans into a separate class, and pretends they live in a different America than their white neighbors—one where the “American Dream” is within reach if you just try a little bit harder.
This rule is not targeted at immigrants who are looking to enter our country illegally, but rather it is targeted at those who have long sought to navigate our impossible immigration system through the proper, legal channels. It is an attack on poor, brown Americans who have been denied access to the same rights and privileges as their white counterparts.
If implemented, the changes to the Public Charge Rule will end up costing us a lot more money in the long run. Creating millions of broken families who end up unemployed, hungry, and homeless is not a model for long-term economic success.