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Congressman Panetta Statement on Trump Administration Proposal to Restrict Green Cards for Immigrants Receiving Public Benefits

September 24, 2018
Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Congressman Jimmy (CA-20) released the following statement after the Department of Homeland Security announced a proposed rule to deny green cards for immigrants who legally use public benefits, including food assistance, Medicaid, and Section 8 housing vouchers. 

"The Administration, through this proposed rule, seeks to deny basic nutrition, health, education, and housing resources to legal immigrants seeking to join and contribute to our communities.  Restricting access to vital services harms our friends, coworkers, and neighbors.  It makes our communities sicker, hungrier, and poorer.  Reports indicate families are already forgoing services for fear of being removed from our immigration system.  This proposal is a radical departure from current policy and will prevent legal immigrants from participating in foundational assistance programs.  Attacking immigrant communities is, sadly, typical of this administration.  This action is counter to the values of the central coast of California.  Further, it is wholly inconsistent with those words enshrined on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty:  'Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’"


The Trump Administration is required to post proposed rule changes to the Federal Register to give the public the opportunity to share their opinions before it can be finalized.  Congressman Panetta will share details about the public comment period when it is published so that constituents can share their opinions directly with the Trump Administration.

Earlier this year, Congressman Panetta joined over 100 Democratic colleagues in calling on the Department of Homeland Security and Office of Management and Budget to reconsider a rule change that would deny immigrants green cards or visa extensions based on their, and their families’, use of public benefits.