Nonprofit Organizations, Government Officials and Academics Unite to Bring Public Awareness of a Possible Trump Executive Order
In an effort to stop a potential Trump Executive Order that would impact lives of immigrants who are admitted to the United States legally, 38 nonprofit organizations, government officials and academics serving Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are uniting to increase public awareness of an ominous executive order, leaked earlier this year and foreshadowed in public statements again just last week, that threatens immigrants with deportation if they use federally funded public benefits, and indebts their sponsors with repaying such benefits.
The following organizations, government officials and academics stand behind the joint statement below:
A dangerous movement rumbling through the current administration threatens to strip immigrants’ access to healthcare, housing, food assistance, and other public programs funded by the federal government.
Contrary to the belief that immigrants are a net-deficit to this country, scholars have found that immigrants’ use of benefits is largely short term, and that the support promotes their longer term social integration, economic, and broader contributions to society. Yet, the idea that this country continues to “lawfully admit millions who arrive in the U.S. only to become reliant on federal taxpayer support,” otherwise known as becoming a “public charge,” has been promulgated by the current administration, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as evidenced in his treatise on Immigration in 2015. And now this draconian proposed law would threaten the health, safety, and well-being of families and communities by undermining our entire public health care and safety net system.
By design and by default, such legislation would create divisions within immigrant communities and pit immigrant and non-immigrants against each other.
Immigrants from Asia comprise the largest percentage of lawful permanent residents than any other global region (41% nationally and 54% in California); and thus, the proposed legislation would disproportionately impact the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population.
The chilling effects of the proposed executive order from earlier this year have already left imprints in the AAPI communities. We are documenting more and more reports of immigrants opting out of public programs and limiting their utilization of health care services. Furthermore, past experiences with wrongful public charge enforcement, including during Welfare Reform in 1996, have resulted in immigrants being unlawfully penalized and even deported.
As prominent organizations and leaders from health, labor, faith-based, legal, business, academic, and government sectors who serve AAPI communities, we stand united in calling for an end to the dangerous and inhumane policies that unfairly target immigrants rather than recognizing our collective essential contributions to this nation.
As the fastest growing racial group in the country, 21 million strong, and doubling in our voting power, we, immigrants and descendants of immigrants, are committed to mobilizing our communities to leverage our strength in size, resources, and electorate power to protect our American rights.
We know that the most vulnerable among us can and will one day be the most vital and caring productive citizens and leaders. We are united in our shared values of compassion, democracy, and equity.
*For identification purposes only.