PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — Mayor Bill Peduto held a press conference on the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to public charge rules.
Federal law requires those seeking to become permanent residents or gain legal status to prove they will not be a burden to the U.S. – a “public charge,” in government-speak. But the new rules detail a broader range of programs that could disqualify them, including Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers.
“Public charge is nothing more than an attack against families and against the poor,” Peduto said. “We need to be able to understand that if these rules were in place, it is unlikely that many of our grandparents or parents would have had the opportunity to become Americans and we would not have had the opportunity.”
“In this rule change, they are going to look behind you,” immigration attorney Jacqueline Martinez said. “So did you use benefits in the past. They are going to look at the last 36 months and whether or not you used public benefits in the last 12-month period in those 36 months.”
Members of the Welcoming Pittsburgh committee, which works directly with local immigrants, were on hand and spoke about the proposed change.
“This policy is based on economic discrimination,” Emergency Response Organizer at Casa San Jose. “They are saying we don’t want people in this country that are poor.”
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