LOS ANGELES –The Trump administration on Monday introduced a new rule that will make it harder for some legal immigrants who use public benefits, including food assistance programs, to apply for an extension of stay and obtain permanent residency once inside the United States.

 The new rule, following a large volume of public comment, is expected to disproportionately affect poor immigrants and Latinos despite the fact that economically disadvantaged immigrants seeking better opportunity in this country have contributed tremendously to our national development.


MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) President and General Counsel, Thomas A. Saenz condemned the new regulations:


 “The new ‘public charge’ rule promulgated by the Trump administration today despite abundant and well-taken criticism submitted on the proposed rule is a gigantic leap backwards for our nation, our economy, and our Constitution.  Today’s release epitomizes policymaking based on mythology rather than fact, on animus rather than analysis, on completely ungrounded hunch rather than social science.   Any other administration would be roundly condemned for such slipshod policymaking.


“Of course, there is not a shred of respect for humanity or appreciation of history in today’s release.  This is the inevitable result of an administration that makes policy in service of retrogression, solely because retrogression reassures Donald Trump and, he believes, appeals to the followers whom Trump himself seems to see as nothing more than gullible and feckless paranoids.


“Fortunately, our Constitution and our nation’s people are made of much stronger and more discerning stuff than Donald Trump believes.  These rules should have the short shelf life they plainly warrant.”