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Ranking Member Nadler Statement on DHS Federal Rule Proposal to Restrict Legal Immigrants from Using Public Benefits

Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, released the following statement in response to the Department of Homeland Security's release late Saturday evening of a proposed federal rule that would make it more difficult for legal immigrants to remain in the United States if they have used legal public benefits:

“The Trump Administration’s proposed policy, which makes it harder for immigrants with lawful status to obtain permanent residence for following the law, is nothing but a cynical ploy to divide and distract us from all of the ways in which the Administration is actually squeezing the middle-class.  It also represents a slap in the face to the very immigrants—those who are legally present and have followed the rules—that President Trump and Republicans in Congress claim to support.

“The President’s strategy is simple: Rather than help middle-class voters—who face skyrocketing health-care, education, and housing costs at the same time that wages remain stagnant—President Trump and his party have chosen to hand kickbacks to the rich, defund our schools, and threaten cuts to Medicare and Social Security.  He seeks to distract Americans from this legacy by fueling racial resentment and division with his constant attacks on minorities and immigrants.  The proposed rule is simply the latest step in this strategy, and we should not fall for it.

“The substance of the rule is also pernicious.  It would deny green cards to immigrants who are here lawfully and working hard to get permanent status, solely based on their participation, or their families’ participation, in public health programs they are legally able, and even encouraged, to use. This makes no sense.

“But these facts don’t matter to President Trump, nor should they get in the way of his dog-whistle politics.  As Republicans flounder at the polls, Trump’s hail-mary pass to Election Day won’t be a sweeping transportation bill or a plan for college affordability or a bill to curb rising health care costs.  It will be another attack on immigrants.  It will be a divide-and-conquer, us-vs-them, strategy.  It’s a crass trick as old as politics itself.”


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