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Trump Administration Targeting Immigrants Who Use Obamacare And Food Stamps To Deny Green Cards

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The Trump administration is drafting a plan to make it harder for legal immigrants who’ve used certain welfare programs — including Obamacare, children’s health insurance, and food stamps — to obtain citizenship or green cards. The new rule is part of White House senior adviser Stephen Miller’s plan to limit the number of migrants who obtain legal status in the U.S. ever year. According to NBC News, the proposal wouldn’t need Congressional approval and would be the biggest overhaul to the legal immigration system in decades. The administration’s reasoning seems to be that these legal immigrants are taking advantage of programs paid for by “American” taxpayers.

More than 20 million immigrants could be affected by the proposed plan.

Low-income immigrants would be hit the hardest if the Trump administration goes through with its plan. Under current immigration law, green card applicants who receive cash welfare payments are considered a “public charge” and are generally ineligible to adjust to permanent resident status. This also applies to immigrant visa applicants overseas — any potential immigrant who is likely to need cash assistance from the government is inadmissible. These rule changes may cause families to preemptively drop out of crucial services like healthcare or children’s nutrition programs.

Immigrants could be rejected from citizenship even if they are making 250 percent above the poverty line.

“The administration is committed to enforcing existing immigration law, which is clearly intended to protect the American taxpayer by ensuring that foreign nationals seeking to enter or remain in the U.S are self-sufficient,” a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security told NBC News. “Any proposed changes would ensure that the government takes the responsibility of being good stewards of taxpayer funds seriously and adjudicates immigration benefit requests in accordance with the law.”

 The new policy would exacerbate what has already been a steep decline in the number of green cards issued since President Trump took office.

According to NBC News, in the 2016 fiscal year, the last year under the Obama administration, 1.2 million immigrants became lawful permanent residents, or green-card holders, and 753,060 became naturalized U.S. citizens. Data from the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year indicates that the administration is on track for a 20 percent drop in immigrants granted green cards.

Many fear that families will have to opt out of programs like food stamps as a result of the new policy.

An estimated 36 percent of immigrant households receive food assistance and 39 percent are on Medicaid. That compared to about 22 percent of native households receiving food assistance and 23 percent enrolled in Medicaid.

“One of our biggest concerns is that people who are eligible for programs such as health and nutrition will be frightened from participating in those programs that we know have immediate and long-term positive effects,” reads a statement from the National Immigration Law Center. “As a result, we will see people who have medical needs forgo services, and families will go hungry.”

The proposal is set to be finalized and released in the coming weeks. A version of the plan has been sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget, the final step before publishing a rule in the federal register.


READ: As Immigration Officers Trick People To Sign Deportation Orders, These Detainees Are Peacefully Fighting Back

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She Fled El Salvador With Her Father To Escape The Civil War, Now She Is Running To Be A Judge In Texas

Things That Matter

She Fled El Salvador With Her Father To Escape The Civil War, Now She Is Running To Be A Judge In Texas

Selena-for-Judge / Facebook

If last year’s midterm primaries taught us anything, it was that everyone, regardless of their background or story, has a right to run for office. Furthermore, first-time politicians who want to help the marginalized community are encouraged to run, and we now have proof they can win.

Meet Selena Alvarenga, a gay immigrant of El Salvador, that is seeking to run for District Court Judge in Texas.

Facebook/Selena-for-Judge

Alvarenga’s campaign for judge of Travis County’s 460th District Court is steaming rolling right along as they prepare for an election. While this new seat has never been conquered, the election will be an exciting one to watch. It won’t take place until March 2020, but there’s no better time to jump into campaign mode.

She understands that her background isn’t a typical one, but that’s what makes her a perfect candidate to fight for people’s rights.

Credit: @selenaforjudge / Twitter

Her history as a lawyer spans two decades, and she’s an alum of St. Mary’s Law School in San Antonio.

Alvarenga migrated to the U.S. with her father in the 1970s after they fled the Salvadoran Civil War.

Facebook/Selena-for-Judge

“One day, I literally woke up, and my father said everything was packed. He said it was getting too dangerous and we had to leave. We got in the car and we started driving north,” Alvarenga said in an interview with Popsugar.

According to her website, her father worked as a computer programmer at a bank in El Salvador but in the U.S. he could only get work serving fast food. “When he finally did find a job in his field, it was in Alaska. Selena was one of three Latin American immigrants in her class.”

“I didn’t know any English, so I went to [an English as a second language] school,” she said to the publication. That adversity only helped Alvarenga excel in school.

Some of the issues she’s ready to address in her campaign include LGBTQ+ rights and ending cash bail.

Facebook/Selena-for-Judge

Her background includes serving as a current Board Member of the Austin Bar LGBTQ Association. She also seeks to reduce pretrial detention and explore alternatives to cash bail.

Click here to learn more about Selena and her campaign.

READ: These Latinx Queer Organizations Need Your Money More Than You Need Corporate Rainbow Socks

Catalina Cruz Might Become The First ‘Dreamer’ To Be Elected In New York. Here’s What You Need to Know

Things That Matter

Catalina Cruz Might Become The First ‘Dreamer’ To Be Elected In New York. Here’s What You Need to Know

Untitled. Digital Image. The Cut. 18 August 2018.

Catalina Cruz was born and raised in Colombia until her mother brought her through JFK airport when she was just nine years old in hopes of a better life. Today, 35-year-old Cruz is running for an Assembly seat in Queens’ 39th District. She is the first “Dreamer” to run for office in New York State, and is relying on folks turning out for the September primary elections to put her in office to become the third Dreamer elected to the U.S. government.

Her story will inspire you, and hopefully it will blossom into real reform for neighborhoods like Elmhurst and Jackson Heights.

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