Kansas Interfaith Action (KIFA) today condemned the Trump Administration’s new policy on “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds” as inhumane and unjust.
Immigrants are part of the fabric of our communities. To single them out in this way is a direct contravention of the Scriptural command to ‘treat the immigrant the same as a native-born citizen’ (Lev. 14:34).
The new “public charge” policy, which appeared yesterday on the Federal Register’s website, was proposed months ago for public comment and the comments were overwhelmingly in opposition. Nonetheless, the Trump administration has moved forward with the proposal as part of its anti-immigrant program. There is no reasonable public policy justification for this change—only hatred toward the immigrant.
Under current policy, a public charge is defined as an immigrant who is “likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.” The proposed rule radically expands the definition to include any immigrant who simply “receives one or more public benefits,” including services to which they are legally entitled, such as nutrition, health care, or housing. This shift drastically increases the scope of who can be considered a public charge to include not just people who receive benefits as the main source of support, but also people who use basic-needs programs to supplement their earnings from low-wage work.
(Kansas Action for Children)
KIFA sees this policy change as part of the Trump Administration’s wide-ranging assault on immigrants. From drastically cutting the number of refugees accepted into the United States, to criminalization of asylum seekers at the southern border, and now this attack on legal immigrants, the Administration is seeking to harass, limit and force out immigrants of all kinds.
Kansas Interfaith Action condemns this new policy. People of faith from across the spectrum oppose the Administration’s policy attacks on immigrants. Care and concern for the immigrant is a core faith value. The Administration’s actions are an affront to morality, as well as to the US’ ethos of ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,’ as emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty.
Kansas Interfaith Action invites congregations and individuals wishing to “welcome the immigrant’’ to join with the organization to help register and encourage people to vote, advocate just immigration policies, and stand with immigrants in their communities.
Rabbi Moti Rieber is executive director of KIFA.
Kansas Interfaith Action, based in Lawrence, is a statewide, multi-faith issue-advocacy organization that “puts faith into action” by educating, engaging and advocating on behalf of people of faith and the public regarding critical social, economic, and climate justice issues.