City Immigrants Fear Being a ‘Public Charge’

November 2, 2018. This audio broadcast discusses the Trump’s proposed “Public Charge” rule, that would deny permanent residency to applicants who receive specific public benefits from the government. It highlights that the proposed rule is creating confusion and fear in the immigrant community and that many green card holders believe that they can’t become citizens if they recieved or are receiving benefits. The factors included in the decision of “public charge” include age, health, income, and English proficiency. The broadcast refers to the chilling effects and the economic impacts, such as a $400 million loss for New York City found in FPI’s recent report, “‘Only Wealthy Immigrants Need Apply:’ How a Trump Rule’s Chilling Effect Will Harm New York.”

A proposal by the Trump Administration is causing panic among immigrants who receive public assistance. The plan is more than 400 pages long, so complicated that immigrant advocates fear thousands of New Yorkers may drop benefits they are legally entitled to receive, while many more will not qualify for green cards if they’re considered at risk of ever going on public benefits.

Critics say a lot of those savings would be generated by needless fear. New York City estimates it could lose $400 million annually if just 20 percent of immigrants mistakenly think they have to cancel food stamps and other forms of assistance and don’t spend the money in local shops. The Fiscal Policy Institute is predicting even more lossesdue to this “chilling effect.”

Here is the link to WNYC.

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