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Katz slams Homeland Security’s proposed rule change on immigration

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Queens Borough President Melinda Katz blasted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s proposed rule change that would render immigrants who receive certain forms of public assistance such as Medicaid, Medicare food stamps and Section 8 vouchers potentially ineligible for U.S. permanent residency.

In September, DHS announced it would significantly broaden the criteria it could use to label an immigrant applying for legal residency as a public charge. The rule change was published in the Federal Register last week, kicking off a 60-day public comment period.

“Let’s call this misguided, anti-immigrant proposal for what it is: an income test for pursuit of the American Dream. Forcing people to make a choice between food on the table or a roof over their heads or access to health coverage — and a Green Card? It is a vicious, immoral proposal to force such an impossible choice upon any family, and it is un-American,” Katz said.

“This would potentially compel hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers either deeper into the shadows or deeper into poverty, which in turn jeopardizes the health, safety and well-being of all New Yorkers. And let’s not forget the 68,000 Queens children who come from mixed-status families where a U.S. citizen is entitled to these benefits, and where the family could face separation resulting from such an impossible choice,” she added.

When she announced the proposed rule change, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen explained that the term “public charge” as applied to the admission of aliens to the United States had a long history in immigration law, appearing at least as far back as the Immigration Act of 1882.

“Under long-standing federal law, those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially,” Nielsen said. “The department takes seriously its responsibility to be transparent in its rulemaking and is welcoming public comment on the proposed rule. This proposed rule will implement a law passed by Congress intended to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers.”

Katz isn’t the only elected official in Queens who is outraged by the proposed change.

State Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows) warned that this greatly affects Queens, where immigrants make up nearly half of the population, by discouraging people from accessing vital resources.

“The Trump Administration, through the Department of Homeland Security, has renewed its attack on immigrants and the poor by broadening the interpretation of the public charge by proposing to use certain public services such as food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, and public-housing programs as tools to exclude law abiding immigrants from obtaining visas. These programs are not handouts but helping hand-ups that allows countless individuals to thrive in our nation.”

The official version in the Federal Register will contain information about how to submit comments on the proposed interpretation.

“Our country should be open to all and access should not be sold off to the highest bidders,” Weprin said. “As such, I encourage all New Yorkers to submit public comments opposing this despicable attack on our values and call on the Trump Administration to immediately rescind this inhumane rule change.”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

Posted 12:00 am, October 19, 2018
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Reader feedback

Helton from Flushing says:
Hey all of you disengenous Queens politicians - stop representing ILLEGAL immigrants. Katz admits it when she says “This would potentially compel hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers deeper into the shadows." Who cares? Start representing American citizens, which is the job you were elected to do! By the way, NY is the most heavily taxed state in the country in large part due to NY politicians spending all of OUR money on illegals. (https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-highest-lowest-tax-burden/20494/) This is why business and residents are fleeing the state in droves. But keep electing the same "progressive" pols.
Oct. 16, 1:58 pm
if she from Queens says:
If this dimwit wants every illegal here then let her pay the cost out of her own pocket. God forbid she should have to clean her own toilet.
Oct. 16, 3:13 pm
The Filth of Forest Hills from Forest Hills says:
I kind of find folks like this hack Katz and other elected officials like here who are always taking the side of immigrants (and illegal immigrants) on issues like this, but when many heavily immigrant communities in Queens are filthy with tons of garbage/litter everywhere, tons of homeless shelters, crime and poor quality of life like when a polluting garbage dump, Royal Waste, is right in the middle of families, Katz and her ilk say NOTHING about that, you know things that these elected officials can actually do something about, but no they always bring up issues they have no control over. Ever been to SE Queens, a total mess, but not a peep out of this hack. Hell, she did not even appear at the public meeting in Kew Gardens in regards to the bad plan of putting a jail in the community. AND KATZ, you represent ALL legal citizens of Queens, white, black, etc. but you would never know, with her rants like this. https://thefilthofforesthillsqueens.wordpress.com/
Oct. 16, 4:46 pm
Dwayne from Queens says:
I say deport everybody who's commented on this so far. We need immigrants, you idiots. Who do you think is going to pay for your Social Security? These people are only here unlawfully because our stupid laws are out of date. Their kids are the future of our country. Katz is just stating the obvious.
Oct. 17, 8:50 am
Sendback from Queens says:
Immigrants of no kind should be ENTITLED to welfare. Legal immigrants should ONLY be entitled to them if they have lived here for 10 years or more. Why should we take in poor and broke immigrants who only drive uber cars for a living? If you're not going to support yourself when you come here, then you shouldn't be allowed here. ILLEGALS should be entitled to NOTHING! They should be sent back WITH their anchor babies. They need to stop draining our welfare systems and overwhelming our public transportation and schools. They need to stop. Why doesn't Katz pay for them solely out of her own pocket then? She makes what? 160k a year or something to that extent? And probably gets plenty of benefits.
Oct. 17, 11:48 am
Connor O Cracker from Queens says:
Yeah! Only white illegals from white countries like canada or Norway or Scandinavia in general are allowed. Only white illegals and white immigrants should be entitled!
Oct. 17, 9:21 pm
Irish Red from Flushing says:
In my personal opinion, all legal immigrants should be required to be self-supporting or lose their green card. Immigrants should not be a burden on American society. And if Katz is speaking of illegals, they should be eligible only for a one-way ticket home, not for public assistance to aid in their law-breaking. As far as David Weprin's comment "“The Trump Administration, through the Department of Homeland Security, has renewed its attack on immigrants and the poor by broadening the interpretation of the public charge by proposing to use certain public services such as food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, and public-housing programs as tools to exclude law abiding immigrants from obtaining visas. These programs are not handouts but helping hand-ups that allows countless individuals to thrive in our nation.”... Sorry, David, but those programs are, in fact, handouts, not entitlements. A law-abiding immigrant already has a visa, and an illegal is not, by his very presence in this country, a law-abiding immigrant.
Oct. 18, 9:27 am
Urban Mole from Flushing says:
Hey Katz, how many illegal aliens are you providing food and shelter for in your posh neighborhood?. I wager none. What is absolutely astonishing about the progressive radical leftists like Katz and most of NYC City Council is that they are always so generous at recklessly spending tax payer dollars for their ideology known to be so destructive to the very communities that they purport to represent. She not once has ever recognized the "American citizen" and his or her worth to society, that now exists as second fiddle to the entitled illegal aliens. Shame on Katz!
Oct. 18, 4:18 pm
Sendback from Queens says:
Connor O Cracker from Queens says: Yeah! Only white illegals from white countries like canada or Norway or Scandinavia in general are allowed. Only white illegals and white immigrants should be entitled! Nobody EVER SAID that we even support white illegals either. I would want ILLEGALS DEPORTED no matter what color or race they are. But the FACT is that MOST of our illegals are from Hispanic backgrounds and those from the Caribbean nations. If you dont want to follow the LAWS then you should be SENT BACK REGARDLESS OF RACE! This WHOLE ISSUE was never a race matter, it's a legal MATTER and those who break the law, should be penalized. It's bad enough that rich people steal from our country, but we dont need any ILLEGALS stealing from our country. We pay out more welfare to take care of these people than the amount of taxes they pay to our government. They are draining the system and maybe your idiot mind will start comprehending it one day when you're still working at age 72 and wondering "why do I have to still work?". Maybe then you'll realize that the government "borrowed" the social security money to fund welfare suckers. Meanwhile, the cost of your medicare has tripled over the last 10 years to compensate the funds that the dr offices and hospitals and prescription companies are losing due to free health insurance to illegals and their anchor babies.
Oct. 19, 4:30 am
John from Queens says:
Connor O Cracker from Queens is a NPC
Oct. 19, 6:26 am
JR from Bayside says:
This katz needs to be voted out, another whack job.
Oct. 19, 11:36 am
REAL Dwayne from Queens from Queens says:
I am the REAL 'Dwayne From Queens' and no doubt writer Bill Parry is using my username for his own devious purposes and to create discord on this board. My being an MIT grad, it won't be hard to trace. That being said, the Katz woman obviously can't differentiate between 'illegal' and 'legal'. Typical.
Oct. 19, 12:34 pm
Celtic from Bayside says:
No more immigration of any kind until our white population reaches 1980 levels. Liberals just want to kill off the white race, and they are succeeding.
Oct. 20, 1:16 am
Teresa from Astoria says:
You cold hearted, self righteous, ignorant, selfish, immoral people and your ugly comments make me sick and embarrassed for you. What have you done lately to help your city?
Oct. 21, 12:51 pm
do your job from Queens says:
Her local job has nothing to do with federal regulations. I guess she has no clue how to do her job so she is trying to do the jobs of others. What a sad story.
Oct. 22, 12:24 pm

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