The report follows Trump’s proposal in May to reject visa-carrying immigrants who apply for legal permanent residence, or green cards, if they have used programs including Medicaid, SNAP, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or other assistance.
In proposing the plan, the Trump administration indicated that making use of government-run programs to feed his or her family would identify an immigrant as a “public charge”—going against a 1999 proclamation making clear that immigrants are free to use public benefits.
The proposal is among a host of initiatives Trump has introduced to send the message to immigrants, whether documented or not, that they will be treated with hostility. Within days of taking office, Trump first proposed his Muslim ban, his first step in adopting a virulently anti-immigrant agenda which would also include his family separation policy at the U.S.-Mexico border, and a surge in immigration raids terrorizing Latino communities.
While the rule has not officially been adopted yet, the observations of WIC agencies suggest that the Trump administration doesn’t need to pass a formal regulation to frighten immigrant parents out of seeking completely legal forms of assistance for their families.
“It’s a stealth regulation,” Kathleen Campbell Walker, an immigration attorney in El Paso, Texas, told Politico. “It doesn’t really exist, but it’s being applied subliminally.”
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