September 18, 2019

Duckworth, Durbin, 25 Senate Democrats Introduce Legislation to Block Implementation of Trump Administration’s So-Called “Public Charge” Rule

The Protect American Values Act Would Prohibit the Government from Using Federal Funds to Carry Out Latest Trump Administration Attack on Immigrant Families


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – This week, U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined Senator Mazie K. Hirono and two dozen Senate Democrats in introducing the Protect American Values Act – legislation that would prohibit the Trump Administration from using federal funding to implement its so-called “public charge” rule. Scheduled to go into effect on October 15, 2019, the “public charge” rule aims to prevent immigrants from coming to or staying in the United States based on factors such as their wealth, family size, age, skills, level of education, or ability to speak English.

As someone who grew up in poverty, relying on food stamps to survive, I’m appalled by the Trump Administration’s cruel, heartless and un-American ‘public charge’ rule,” Senator Duckworth said. “My mother is an immigrant and if this proposal had been in place then, my family might have had to choose between getting her citizenship or going hungry. I’m proud to join my colleagues as we fight this dangerous policy from taking place.”

This Administration’s plan to limit legal immigration based on an applicant’s wealth is entirely un-American,” Senator Durbin said. “Penalizing immigrants living here legally will do nothing to fix the situation at our border and will only sow fear and distrust in immigrant communities across the U.S.  I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this important legislation.”

In addition to Senators Duckworth, Durbin and Hirono, the Protect American Values Act is cosponsored by Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Coons (D-DE), Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM).