August 15, 2019

Duckworth Speaks Out Against Trump Administration’s “Public Charge” Rule


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — In response to the Trump Administration’s new rule that would allow immigration officials to deny immigrants green cards based on their income or the wholly legal action of using of public benefits like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Medicaid, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) released the following statement:

“As I said when the Trump Administration first suggested they might do this almost a year ago: This proposal is as heartless as it is dangerous.

“My family teetered on the brink of homelessness when I was in high school and relied on food stamps to survive. My own mother is an immigrant—and if this proposal had been in place during those years, my family could’ve been forced to choose between her citizenship and going hungry.

“No family should have to face that choice. No one should have to decide between seeking urgently needed health care—or shelter, or food—and getting ripped away from their loved ones. This proposal isn’t just unfair. It’s cruel, unacceptable and un-American.”

Duckworth has long been an advocate for treating immigrant communities with compassion and dignity. Last year, Duckworth joined U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and 20 of their Senate colleagues in urging the U.S. Department of Homeland security (DHS) to abandon efforts to implement a “public charge” rule. Duckworth has also helped introduced legislation such as the REUNITE Act to reunify and protect immigrant families from the Trump Administration’s cruel family separation practices. In 2017, Duckworth visited an ICE Detention Center in Kankakee, Illinois following early concerns of civil rights violations such as poor nutrition and inadequate medical care.