SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement on the newly-proposed public charge rule that would make it impossible for working people and low-income immigrants who participate in healthcare and social services programs to receive a green card:
“This proposed rule goes against who we are as Americans. We are a nation that welcomes immigrants, rescues refugees and aspires to treat people equally regardless of creed, color, or where they come from.
“If this proposal is finalized, it could force families to forego needed healthcare or go hungry or become homeless in exchange for the opportunity of becoming a green card holder in the future. Parents will have to choose between taking their children to the doctor or being able to watch their children grow and remain together as a family. It’s unconscionable to force this decision on people who are trying to build a better life at the same time that hundreds of children fleeing persecution have been forcibly separated from their parents.
“This will have lasting consequences not just on the well-being of working families, but also the communities in which they live. Immigrants pay city, county, state and federal taxes that contribute to their communities, and finance healthcare and social service programs. If they are driven into the shadows or out of this country, everyone will suffer.
“SEIU members are standing strong in our union to stand up and fight back. We are fighting for our nation’s soul and to protect immigrant communities across the country. “President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress have the power to do the right thing. If they don’t, we will hold them accountable for standing in the way of immigrant families and turning their back on working people.”