Menendez, Booker and Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Block Implementation of Trump Administration’s “Public Charge” Rule

Menendez, Booker and Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Block Implementation of Trump Administration’s “Public Charge” Rule

The Protect American Values Act Would Prohibit the Government from Using Federal Funds to Carry Out Latest Trump Administration Attack on Immigrant Families

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-N.J.) and over two dozen colleagues today introduced the Protect American Values Act – legislation that would prohibit the Trump Administration from using federal funding to implement its so-called “public charge” rule.

“Trump’s latest move to restrict LEGAL immigration punishes immigrants eligible for green cards and other visas for not being wealthy. This rule will force immigrants to choose between pursuing legal residency or weathering tough times and frightening people away from critical resources will compromise families and communities across our country.  It’s cruel and un-American,” said Sen. Menendez. “The Protect American Values Act will stop the Trump Administration from unilaterally reshaping our legal immigration system. Immigrants aspiring to become legal residents should be judged on their efforts and contributions to our country, not by the color of their skin or how much money they have in their bank account.”

“This ‘public charge’ rule is yet another shameful attack on the immigrant community by the Trump Administration. This rule will force millions of immigrants to forgo critical services in an effort to protect loved ones. We are already seeing the frightening impacts this action is having on families and their ability to access health care and nutrition services,” said Sen. Booker. “This rule will lead to worse health outcomes, increased use of emergency rooms, increased rates of poverty, and reduced educational attainment. This is not sound policy—it is cruel and harmful. The Protect American Values Act would ensure that those families that come to the United States, who are an integral part of our communities, continue to have access to achieving the American dream.”

The “public charge” rule is scheduled to go into effect on October 15, 2019. This rule will effectively prevent immigrants from coming to or staying in the United States based on factors such as their wealth, family size, age, skills, level of education, or ability to speak English.

The Protect American Values Act is also cosponsored by Senators Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).