“Public Charge”, Census Continues to Put Pressure on Our Communities

The Trump administration’s ongoing attacks and fear mongering threatens to rollback civil and human rights. The proposed policies to penalize immigrants for accessing critical and potentially life-saving public benefits, also known as an expansion to public charge, and including a citizenship question on the upcoming 2020 Census reflects the white supremacist agenda to make communities of color suffer and invisible in the United States.

Both actions will have profound effects on immigrants and have caused concern among immigrant rights groups and communities nationwide.

CAA Co-Executive Director Vincent Pan states, “The addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census by Secretary of Commerce Ross will virtually guarantee an undercount. This is problematic given that census data has large ramifications. Scaring immigrants from taking the census will drastically affect funding for public programs and political representation.”

The decision to include the citizenship question contributes to the chilling effect on immigrant access to public services as a result of the expansion of public charge. Pan continues, “ Homeland Security wants to expand public charge qualifications to include Medicaid, food stamps, tax breaks, and more. The expanded definition of “public charge” will deter immigrant communities from accessing public services they already pay taxes toward.”.

Locally, the City and County of San Francisco has joined a national lawsuit to remove the citizenship question from the upcoming census along with 17 states and 6 cities including California.

CAA is fighting efforts to radically expand “public charge” and responding to calls from impacted community members who are concerned with the latest round of attacks. To qualm the fear in our community, we are providing timely and accurate information through our immigrant rights workshops and ethnic media.

These anti-immigrant schemes by the Trump Administration will lead to even greater confusion and fear among immigrants and reduce participation in public services and hinder census accuracy. CAA strongly opposes these proposals and continues to participate in numerous efforts to resist the ongoing assaults against immigrant communities of color.

For more, please read our press releases on both issues: Census, Public Charge.

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