If President Trump’s changes to public charge rules take effect, there could be untold damage done to immigrant families that would contribute to the further deterioration of an already shrinking American middle class and a long-troubled economy.
A recent study published by the think tank, New American Economy, found that 91 percent of those who would be affected by the rule are employed, with more than 1.4 million of them having at least some college education. Further, these immigrants work in almost every sector of our economy, including in professional and business services, where up to 515,000 people could be affected.
“We went at it from the same preconceptions other people had, that this would affect relatively poorly educated people and they’d be concentrated in manual labor industries,” said Andrew Lim, director of quantitative research at New American Economy. “It’s a lot of middle-skilled people who would be caught up in this, too.”
This past Monday marked the deadline to submit comments responding to the proposed changes, with more than 200,000 people voicing their opinions.
The proposed changes are so stringent that even immigrants who are 95 percent self-sufficient could be deemed “public charges,” according to the Cato Institute.
As we already know, immigrants contribute vastly to our economic engine here in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. A Fiscal Policy Institute report from 2015 details the various economic contributions of immigrants on Long Island, including the fact that they comprise 18 percent of the Long Island population and contribute 20 percent of its economic output. With more than 40 percent of Long Island immigrants paying over $10,000 in property taxes, their essential role is evident.
The rhetoric espoused by anti-immigrant critics paint the picture that immigrants take more than their fair share, but that’s simply not the case. Public programs are helping an already hard-working and diligent population simply get by and contribute to the American way of life.