(SANTA CLARA, CA – 1/27/2020) – The San Francisco office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) joined CAIR National today in decrying a U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows a Trump administration change to immigration rules that would give the government wide-reaching ability to deny green cards to those who have participated in public aid programs.

Current immigration law classifies immigrants who are dependent on the government for more than half their income as “public charges” and prevents them from obtaining green cards and visas.

The new rule would expand the definition of public charge to include anyone receiving food stamps, Medi-Cal and housing subsidies or who is deemed “likely at any time” to do so.

That change, first announced in September and affirmed by the Supreme Court today, affects more than 380,000 people.

SEE: Supreme Court allows Trump’s ‘public charge’ immigration rule

In a statement, CAIR-SFBA’s Immigrants’ Rights Attorney Amir Naim said:

“This unfortunate ruling allows the Trump administration to implement its Public Charge rule, which attempts to prevent immigrants with limited means from obtaining legal status. It is yet another piece of the Trump administration’s war against poor and immigrant communities. This rule forces people to either abandon benefits which they or their families depend on for their well-being or risk becoming ineligible to obtain legal status. We will continue to fight to ensure that everyone has access to our immigration system, regardless of their income.”

CAIR National’s Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw said:

“The Supreme Court’s decision will further marginalize immigrant communities and will inevitably create a socioeconomic hierarchy in our immigration system. The Trump administration’s policy could quite literally kill people by making them too afraid to seek life-saving medical care, and the Supreme Court seems to agree such a cruel system is acceptable.”

McCaw urged Congress to co-sponsor the No Federal Funds for Public Charge Act of 2019 (H.R. 3222) which would nullify the new policy.

Learn more about the rule and its effects here:

Public Charge: A New Threat to Immigrant Families

Frequently Asked Questions: Proposed Changes to the Public Charge Rule

Two years ago, CAIR joined more than 1,100 other organizations in an open statement strongly opposing the rule change when it was proposed last year. The Washington-based civil rights organization also submitted a petition with more than 500 signatures to the Federal Register calling on the Trump administration to withdraw the rule.

SEE: Join CAIR’s Petition Urging USCIS to Withdraw Trump’s Proposal to Restrict New Green Cards for Those Using Public Aid

CAIR-SFBA has an Immigrants’ Rights Center to help immigrants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Individuals and families can seek legal help from CAIR-SFBA by filling out an intake form.

CAIR-SFBA is an office of CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

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CONTACT: Communications Coordinator Zoha Raza, 408.418.6902, zraza@cair.com