Statement on Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling from Rebecca Lightsey, executive director, American Gateways, which provides legal aid to low-income immigrants from offices in San Antonio, Waco and Austin:
“The divided court’s move lets the government proceed with its shameful ‘public charge’ restrictions. This will almost certainly result in more low-income immigrants, including thousands of Texans, being denied lasting residency. Under the rules, it’s going to be harder for green card applicants who have lawfully used public benefits to become legal permanent residents.
“Real sacrifices loom. Under the new restrictions, immigrants and their families, including U.S.-born children, are likely to forego needed care as well as the food and shelter required to maintain health. We’re talking about access to support to which residents are found to be legally entitled — including Medicaid, CHIP and SNAP. These programs ensure that children can see a doctor when they are sick and help keep groceries from running out.
“At American Gateways, all our clients live at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level with a significant number faring worse. We will continue explaining the ‘public charge’ restrictions to our clients and the greater community.
“We hope our elected officials consider whether denying people the ability to immigrate based on wealth truly fits with our national values. We find this shameful.”
MORE: Contact Rebecca Lightsey, American Gateways, 512-478-0546 ext. 208 or firstname.lastname@example.org
American Gateways champions the rights of immigrants, refugees and survivors of persecution, torture, conflict and human trafficking through immigration legal services, at low or no cost, as well as education and advocacy.