Dear friends, family, and community,
Today, InterIm is expressing it’s opposition to the Department of Homeland Security’s changes to immigration law. The change in “public charge” law will go into effect on October 15, 2019. This rule will make attaining a green card or U.S. citizenship more difficult for legal immigrants if either themselves or family members rely on public benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, and Section 8 rental assistance vouchers. This rule is extremely harmful to low income immigrants and refugees, is meant to discourage new immigrants from coming to the U.S and aims to discourage current immigrant residents from using the programs they are entitled to.
Nationally, about 1.1 million Asian immigrants live in families earning under 125% of the poverty line, and over 80% of Asians and Pacific Islanders who received their green cards in 2018 came through the family-based system. The International District is 53 percent Asian Pacific Islander, 58 percent foreign born, and 53 percent non-citizens. 65 percent of us are below the federal poverty level. This rule could harm countless neighbors in our community, and we must do everything we can to oppose it.
That is why we are glad to see leaders in our community oppose this rule change. We have seen Attorney General Ferguson join a lawsuit against the administration on this rule and Senator Murray recently spoke out against the administration. We are also encouraged by congresspeople Larson, Smith, and Jayapal for their co-sponsorship of H.B. 3222, which seeks to prevent federal funds from being used to enforce this unjust rule. Every Washingtonian should contact their congressional representative and ask them to sign on to this legislation. Additionally, if anybody believes they might be subject to this rule, we urge you to consult a qualified immigration attorney. One non-profit with many qualified attorney’s is the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and you can call their Seattle office at 206.587.4009.
This content was sponsored by InterIm CDA.