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PRAGNYA's Statement on the New Immigration Rule re: Public Charge

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

It is with absolute disappointment that we are making this post regarding the just-announced Supreme Court decision surrounding the Trump administration's proposed use of Public benefits by immigrants in the United States. "The Supreme Court said on Monday that it will allow the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule to take effect after the immigration policy had been blocked by lower courts. 

The 5-4 vote was divided along partisan lines, with the court’s four Democratic-appointees indicating that they would not have allowed the policy to be enforced. 

The rule, which was proposed in August, will make it more difficult for immigrants to obtain permanent residency or citizenship if they have used or are likely to use public benefits like food stamps and Medicaid." - (source: Washington Post)

Immigrants who come into the United States comprise of legal high skilled workers like those on H1-B visas, F1-visas, L1-visas etc. Every immigrant on these visas pays towards the Social Security, and all the mandated state and federal taxes that go to fund the public benefits program. This new ruling, which is clearly indicative of a "discriminatory stance" towards the migrant population, will deter and deny any supports and benefits that each of these immigrants are rightfully entitled to, since they are paying into the system. There is such a huge disparity in the service delivery of much needed systems of support such as SNAP, Medicaid, Developmental services to the "Developmentally Disabled" population in these immigrant populations (South-east asian, East-Asian communities, who largely comprise the Skilled worker immigrant categories) already, that this rule will further alienate and segregate these families from seeking the services that their "developmentally different/disabled" loved ones so desperately require to lead a life of dignity and equity.

As an organization that strives for equity and the dignity of life of all individuals, regardless of their neurological makeup, PRAGNYA decries this highly partisan, discriminatory ruling by the Supreme Court to uphold this discriminatory policy of the Trump administration. We also urge every lawmaker, every individual, every single person who believes that everyone has a right to a life of dignity, with the required supports to speak up against this ruling and bring about change to effect legislation into place to protect the rights of those that are unable to speak or advocate for themselves. There are many immigrant families (legally migrated to the United States) who have American born children with such developmental disabilities that are now at risk of losing services / supports which are owed to rightful American citizens, only because the parents are still in the process of obtaining their citizenship. It is also important to mention that many of these American developmentally delayed/ disabled children of immigrant parents will possibly be dependent on their parents as care-givers for the rest of their lives. Denying their families the right to "greencards or naturalization" would amount of taking away the circle of support that these individuals require even for basic survival let alone, thrive. This ruling violates the unalienable rights guaranteed to every US Citizen - "The right to Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness". After all, isn't this what the framers of our constitution, the founding fathers stated in their "Declaration of Independence"?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness".

PRAGNYA calls upon every single human being to stand up for their fellow human beings, stand up for equality of access to all services and opportunities for their neurodiverse peers, step up as ALLIES to advocate for their Neurodiverse peers and ensure that such bigoted, discriminatory, and disparaging policies are NOT put into place. Write to your Local Congressman/ Senator/ State Legislators/ Senators about how you feel about this and share this article. Many of our immigrant families with developmentally different / disabled individuals will be too worried and will further seclude themselves for no fault of theirs and it is up to us as ALLIES to pull them out of the shadows and stand shoulder to shoulder with them to ensure they are treated with the same dignity and respect as was promised to us by the Founding Fathers.

CC: Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo

Congressman Ro Khanna

Congressman Eric Swalwell

Congressman Ami Bera

Senator Barbara Boxer

Senator Diane Feinstein

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