L.A. County Comes Out Swinging Against Trump Proposal for Immigrants on Public Assistance

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors says it is vehemently opposed to a Department of Homeland Security proposal that would make lawful immigration and permanent residency more difficult for those on public assistance.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Oct. 2 to voice its opposition to the expansion of the so-called “public charge” provision, whereby government officials weigh prospective immigrants’ self-sufficiency before granting entry to the United States. Right now, receipt of cash benefits can hurt the prospective immigrants’ chances of residency. Under the proposed rule change, food stamps and health or public housing support could also work against them.

Supervisor Hilda Solis said L.A. County has a moral obligation to offer public services to all in need, regardless of immigration status. Sheila Kuehl called Trump a “bully,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Kathryn Barger worried the rule change would dissuade immigrants from seeking medical help or other key services. There is some evidence that this is already occurring

The Board will now send a letter to immigration and congressional officials expressing their opposition to the plan. They have also agreed to educate residents on the administration’s proposal and pen a letter of support for California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra, who is mulling a legal challenge.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has said the proposed change would ensure that immigrants to the U.S. can properly care for themselves. The public charge expansion would not apply to refugees or lawful residents seeking naturalization or citizenship.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times