While it is true that our country is one of great prosperity, many in our communities work hard to provide for their families and do not receive a fair return on their labor. The federal government understands this. That is why for these families who must make hard choices about paying for rent versus paying for food or medicine versus health insurance, the federal government may provide assistance with nutrition, housing, and health needs. We do this because it’s in our basic nature to ensure all members of our nation are cared for; this should not change for newly-arrived legal residents of our country.
The new federal rule from Department of Homeland Security that will direct immigration officials to reject applications from individuals who seek to remain in or enter the country if they have received — or are judged more likely than not to receive in the future — any of an extensive array of public benefits that are tied to need draws a clear line in the sand. It implies that if a person does not meet a certain standard of wealth and may require critical resources that this country makes available to legal residents, they are not valued in this country. That is unacceptable and does not reflect the values of this country.
The Trump Administration has sought to separate and divide residents of this country by differentiating between rich and poor, immigrant or native born – all in the name of preserving scarce resources. We should not buy it.
This is the kind of policy that will endanger those immigrants who live here and already make our country better. These individuals may forgo health coverage, help with food, or not raise objections to untenable housing for fear of ejection from their homes. The most adversely affected will be the most vulnerable: workers who receive low pay, often under dangerous conditions, who are doing everything in their power to keep their families safe. The rule also will potentially split those families with mixed immigration status, once again separating children from their parents.
Americans understand that our country is founded on the idea of E Pluribus Unum or “out of many, one.” To distract and divide us using the very basic needs of any family in our country as a partisan pawn is a heartless political tactic. Our differences weave the very fabric that binds us together. This message still rings loudly, considering the the more than 260,000 comments submitted on the rule.
Texas Housers is committed to supporting low-income Texans’ efforts to secure decent, affordable housing, in our state and beyond. Efforts that will harm the most vulnerable among us with regard to their homes and communities, intended or otherwise, require our unwavering commitment and efforts to restore basic humanity and dignity to our national policies.