Hi there,

The climate crisis, war, attacks on reproductive rights, book bans—these threats aren't looming. They are here now. If you think Democracy Now!'s reporting on these issues is essential, please sign up for a monthly gift of $10 or more. Right now, a generous donor will DOUBLE your gift, making your donation twice as valuable. We don't have a paywall or run ads, which means we’re not brought to you by the oil, gas, coal, or nuclear companies when we cover the climate catastrophe or by the weapons manufacturers when we cover war. Democracy Now! is funded by you and that’s why we need your help today. This is a challenging year for news organizations and nonprofits across the board, so please don’t close this window before making your gift. We're counting on you more than ever to sustain our reporting. Start your monthly donation of $10 or more right now and help Democracy Now! stay strong and independent all year round. Thank you so much.
-Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Trump Admin Targets Immigrants Using Food Stamps & Medicaid & Puts Millions of Children at Risk

Media Options

The Trump administration is proposing a new regulation that would make it extremely difficult for many immigrants to come to the U.S. or receive green cards if they’re considered likely to use public benefits like food stamps or Medicaid. The draft regulation was unveiled Saturday and has been widely condemned for its cruelty and potential impact on millions of U.S.-born children of immigrant parents. We speak with Marielena Hincapié, executive director at the National Immigration Law Center.

Related Story

StoryAug 30, 2023Texas Rep. Greg Casar Condemns Gov. Greg Abbott’s “Dangerous Stunts” at the Border
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: As we look at the White House senior adviser Stephen Miller’s role in the Trump administration’s anti-immigration policy, we turn now to a widely condemned proposal by the Trump administration that would make it extremely difficult for many immigrants to come to the U.S. or receive green cards if they’re considered likely to use public benefits like food stamps or Medicaid.

AMY GOODMAN: The draft regulation was unveiled Saturday, is drawing protests.

For more, we go to Lake Arrowhead, California, by Democracy Now! video stream to Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center.

Marielena, welcome to Democracy Now! Can you just focus on this latest proposal by the Trump administration, after last week they floated the proposal to cap the number of refugees to an all-time low that we haven’t seen like this in decades in this country?

MARIELENA HINCAPIÉ: Yes. Thank you. Good morning, Amy and Juan. Yeah, this is just the latest radical, extremist anti-immigrant attack against families by the Trump administration. And as you mentioned, it’s been drafted by Stephen Miller. He has talked about this being the issue that they believe is going to excite their base before the November elections.

What this will result in is basically an expansion of the public charge definition, which has been used in our history to exclude people like Jewish refugees, including Catholics from Ireland and Italy. And here we are concerned about this proposed rule, which could affect millions of people in our country—children, their families—who are basically trying to make ends meet.

How we live our life and how we contribute to our families and our communities should be how we’re judged in this country, rather than how we—what we look like and how much money we have. This is basically a wealth test about who belongs in this country and who can come to this country.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Marielena, could you be specific in terms of what the regulations would entail? Because, as you mentioned, there has been a public charge stipulation that a person cannot have more than a majority of their income from government sources, but now this is being changed to almost any kind of support from government sources. Can you talk about that?

MARIELENA HINCAPIÉ: That’s right, Juan, yes. So, for decades now, the public charge definition is if you are an immigrant and you primarily depend on two types of programs, either long-term institutional programs or cash assistance. Here, they’re trying to expand this to a range of programs, including food stamps, including housing supports like a Section 8 housing voucher, including the low-income subsidy for Medicare Part D.

So, again, we have 447 pages that we’re still analyzing. The text of the rule hasn’t been formally published yet on the Federal Register. When it does, which we expect to be any day now, a 60-day comment period will begin, and we urge everyone who’s listening and watching your show today to please go to ProtectingImmigrantFamilies.org, which is the campaign website that we’ve set up, and we’ll have templates, and everybody can comment on this, so physicians, psychologists, educators, state and local elected leaders, but especially immigrants who can tell their story.

People like me—when we came in the 1970s, we relied on food stamps when my parents were laid off in between factory jobs. We would not be here, either. And I know that my story is the American story and that there are thousands and hundreds of thousands of people who can submit comments. And hopefully we can stop this in its tracks.

AMY GOODMAN: Marielena Hincapié, we thank you so much for being with us, and of course we’re going to—


AMY GOODMAN: —have you back on to continue to talk about these issues and these regulations as they unfold. Marielena Hincapié is executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. This is Democracy Now! When we come back, the sentencing of Bill Cosby. We’ll talk about it in 30 seconds.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Next story from this daily show

“A Tsunami of a Sentence”: Victory for Survivors as Bill Cosby Handed 3-10 Years in Prison for Rape

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation