California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday dismissed as “reckless policy” a Trump administration rule change that could make it harder for immigrants to get green cards.
Under the “public charge” rule set to be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, receiving benefits like food stamps, Medicaid or housing subsidies would count against an immigrants’s chance of getting a green card or visa. Previously the rule only considered cash subsidies.
“This is a reckless policy that targets the health and well-being of immigrant families and communities of color, with widespread implications for our state’s health care, housing and affordability,” said Newsom.
He said state officials were reviewing possible legal options.
Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli told reporters the rule change was meant to encourage self-sufficiency. “We certainly expect people of any income to be able to stand on their own two feet,” he said.
California’s 2019-2020 state budget includes $65 million to support qualified nonprofit organizations that provide a broad array of qualified immigration services. Jewish Family Service of San Diego and other local groups are using money from this fund to support recent immigrants.
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