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Quick Action

Trump proposed a new rule seeking to limit U.S. entry as well as visa and green card applications by low- to moderate-income immigrant families and immigrants with disabilities. Submit a public comment by midnight, Monday, Dec. 10 opposing this new rule.

THE ISSUE

The Trump administration has proposed a rule to severely limit immigrants’ eligibility for entry to the U.S. and deny visas and green cards to immigrants already in the U.S. legally as well as to non-citizen family members of U.S. citizens. Under current law, non-citizens seeking U.S. entry and those applying for green cards must pass a “public charge test” to determine if their primary source of income will be cash assistance through Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or if they will need government-funded long-term institutionalized care. The new rule, which disproportionately targets families, the poor, and people with disabilities, would add health care, food, and housing assistance to the public charge test. The regulation identifies characteristics, called “negative factors,” that the Department of Homeland Security says increase the likelihood an individual will need government services in the future. These negative factors include:

  • Household size of 3 or more
  • No private health insurance coverage
  • No high school diploma
  • Earning less than 125% of the federal poverty level ($31,375 for a family of four)
  • A disability or chronic health condition.
  • Limited English language
  • Under age 18 or over age 61

Immigration officials could use any one of these factors to refuse U.S. entry or to deny spousal or family visas or green cards. The Trump administration estimates the new rule will affect just under 400,000 people a year, but immigration analysts say the change will affect almost 1 million people seeking green cards each year, 10 million seeking non-immigrant temporary visas, and about 500,000 non-immigrants seeking extensions of stay or changes of non-immigrant status. This includes up to half of all marriage green card applicants a year. 

 

If you live in Maine and think you or your family could be affected by the proposed rule, contact the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project for assistance.

 

THE ACTION

 

Submit a public comment. Use the talking points below for your comment opposing the public charge rule change. Submit your comment HERE by MIDNIGHT, MONDAY, DEC. 10.

 

TALKING POINTS

 

  • The rule openly discriminates against people with disabilities by denying immigrants entry to the U.S. and blocking visa and green card applications to anyone with a chronic health condition or disability that requires ongoing medical attention.
  • The rule would affect far more people than the Trump administration claims, including close to 1 million people who apply for green cards each year.
  • The rule could force the separation of hundreds of thousands of families by denying entry to spouses and family members of U.S. citizens.
  • DHS estimates the new rule would affect more than 500,000 temporary visa applications each year and cost more than $1.3 billion in compliance costs over the next decade.
  • Undocumented immigrants pay $11.6 billion in taxes a year, giving them as much right to government social safety net programs as anyone else living in the U.S.  

Sen. Susan Collins (R)

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Washington, DC (202) 224-2523

Sen. Angus King (I)

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Washington, DC: (202) 224-5344

Rep. Chellie Pingree
(D-CD1)

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Washington, DC: (202) 225-6116 

Rep. Bruce Poliquin
(R-CD2)

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Washington, DC: (202) 225-6306

Maine House:
1-800-423-2900 

Maine Senate:
1-800-423-6900

TTY: Use Maine Relay 711 

Find your legislators HERE

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