CAA Denounces Trump Administration For Targeting Immigrant Families with “Public Charge”


Eugene Lau, Communications Advocate, 415-274-6750 x319, 

CAA Denounces Trump Administration For Targeting Immigrant Families with “Public Charge”

San Francisco– CAA denounces the proposal by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to unnecessarily and unlawfully penalize immigrants for accessing public benefits.  By radically expanding the definition of “public charge” as it applies to immigrants, this new proposal reflects yet another attack from the Trump administration against working families, communities of color, and immigrants across status including those who are undocumented, legal permanent residents, and other visa holders.

The Trump administration proposal would rewrite regulations to severely restrict immigrant access to a range of public benefits ranging from tax credits to food stamps, despite the fact that immigrants pay taxes to support these programs, and the well-being of immigrant communities is critical to a healthy society and well-functioning economy.

Historically, the definition of “public charge” in immigration policy has appropriately considered many factors to determine whether immigrants will become financially reliant on the state.  The proposal would change this definition to unnecessarily penalize immigrants for accessing certain public benefits. As a result, immigration sponsorship becomes more difficult, especially for those who are already waiting decades to reunite with their families, and deportations become further skewed against working families who access programs they help pay for.

“This proposal is another attempt for the overtly racist Trump administration to reshape who has access to America to make it white again,” says Hong Mei Pang, CAA Director of Advocacy. “Expanding public charge hurts everyday working families, shrinks traditional pathways to family-based immigration and citizenship, and heightens the likelihood of deportations.”

“No society is stronger when it denies critical public services to a group of people based on their immigration status,” states Vincent Pan, CAA Co-Executive Director.  “It is unconscionable that Trump is trying to scare immigrants out of the life-saving social safety nets that they are legally eligible for and entitled to.”

CAA strongly opposes this proposal, and continues to participate in national efforts to resist the ongoing assaults against immigrants communities of color. There will be a 60 day open comment period for these proposed changes beginning in the next few weeks. Community members are encouraged to contact CAA’s Immigrant Rights program at 415-761-3222 for screenings and legal referrals if they have any questions about how the proposal would affect them, or if community members would like to contribute comments as part of the open comment period.


Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) is a community-based civil rights organization in San Francisco.  Our mission is to protect the civil and political rights of Chinese Americans and to advance multiracial democracy in the United States. We advocate for systemic change that protects immigrant rights, promotes language diversity, and remedies racial injustice.


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