The county of Los Angeles officially filed a comment on Monday in opposition to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Citizenship and Immigration Services’ proposed “public charge” rule change.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Monday published a proposed rule change in the Federal Register to existing immigration policies on public charge.
If adopted, it could potentially have broad and sweeping impacts across Los Angeles County communities.
The executive summary of the 49-page comment notes: “The County has a compelling interest in ensuring the health and safety of all people, including millions of immigrants, who reside within its borders. On their behalf, the County, therefore, opposes the proposal by DHS to vastly expand the circumstances under which an individual applying for a visa or adjustment of status to obtain permanent residency may be considered a ‘public charge.’”
The county’s comment continues on to outline the Department of Homeland Security’s action as both “arbitrary and capricious,” noting that the proposed rule “jeopardizes the health, well-being, and safety of local communities,” and “puts children at risk,” while also penalizing “hard-working families.”
The county’s opposition comment states this proposed rule change is an “unprecedented expansion of the public charge doctrine” and “urges DHS to continue to adhere to its longstanding policy of excluding noncash supplemental benefits and benefits to children from consideration in the public charge analysis.”
Additionally, “The county also urges DHS to reject the proposed income test that would use the public charge rule to penalize virtually any working-class immigrant who applied for admission or adjustment of status. These extreme policy shifts in the Proposed Rule would penalize immigrants’ long-term self-sufficiency, and would harm the communities in which immigrants live, work, and invest.”
The county’s opposition comment was officially filed on behalf of Los Angeles County in the Federal Register on Dec. 10 by Los Angeles County Counsel Mary C. Wickham.
To read or download a full copy of the county’s opposition comment to the proposed “public charge” rule change please click here or visit oia.lacounty.gov/publiccharge/.
The County of Los Angeles Office of Immigrant Affairs, operated by the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, works to advance the well-being of all immigrants in Los Angeles County by providing and connecting them with support services to help immigrants in all aspects of their lives. Find out more at oia.lacounty.gov.