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The Inconvenient Truth about Public Charge Provisions of Immigration Laws

There are two broad categories of lies that could be referred to as crimes of commission and crimes of omission.

The crime of commission is when facts are blatantly misrepresented, while the crime of omission involves leaving out relevant information, for example, when statements are taken out of context or relevant information is left out of the report.

These tactics have become commonplace and routine particularly when the mainstream media reports on the Trump administration and also when it reports on issues pertaining to immigration.

When the Trump administration promulgates policies that impact immigration, synergy kicks in and the truth is likely nowhere to be found.

Over a century ago a popular expression, the streets are paved with gold, drew immigrants to the United States who were determined to strike it rich in America.  When they got here they found that the streets were paved, not with gold, but with cobblestones that came from the cargo holds of ships that used those cobblestones as ballast.

Back then the cargo holds of the merchant ships that arrived at America’s ports were filled with cobblestones that served as ballast to keep those ships stable on the voyage to the United States.  Once here, those stones were off-loaded and all sorts of products that were made in America replaced the cobblestones in the cargo holds of those ships that returned to their original ports with merchandise to be sold.

The cobblestones were used to pave the roads of the port cities.

Nevertheless the immigrants who came to America worked hard and earned a living and built their futures in our nation.  None of them expected, nor received a “free ride.”

You could say that rather than being paved with gold, the streets were paved with blood, sweat and tears of the immigrants.

With their new-found freedom to worship and to pursue their dreams, many succeeded in building successful and happy lives in the United States.

On August 12, 2019 Business Today breathlessly published a Reuters News report under the title, “New Trump administration rule to target legal immigrants who get public assistance.  The subtitle of that report utterly twisted the truth:

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration unveiled a sweeping rule on Monday that would limit legal immigration by denying visas and permanent residency to hundreds of thousands of people for being too poor

That article also included this excerpt:

The 837-page rule could be the most drastic of all the Trump administration’s policies targeting the legal immigration system, experts have said. Advocates for immigrants have criticized the plan as an effort to cut legal immigration without going through Congress to change U.S. law.

The new rule is derived from the Immigration Act of 1882, which allows the U.S. government to deny a visa to anyone likely to become a “public charge.”

That last paragraph creates the utterly false impression that President Trump had to dig back to law books published 137 years ago to find legal justification for invoking the concept of public charge to prevent aliens on public assistance from receiving lawful immigrant status.

In reality, while the notion of public charge was first codified in 1882, it has persisted in all subsequent rewrites of America’s immigration laws and, in fact, is still an element of the current Immigration and Nationality Act.

The claim that Trump’s public charge policies would deny entry to aliens who are poor is false.  This concern does not deny entry to aliens who are poor.  Historically many immigrants who were destitute have come to the United States.  However, they worked their way up the economic ladder to create the American Dream for themselves, their families and ultimately, for America.

The issue is not whether or not an alien seeking to enter the U.S. is poor but if that alien has the physical capabilities and skills and/or education to work and be self-sufficient in the United States.

In fact, Ellis Island was run by Public Health officials along with immigration officials.  Public Health officials had two concerns- that the arriving immigrants were not suffering from dangerous communicable diseases that could create a deadly epidemic and that the arriving immigrants were mentally and physically capable of working and supporting themselves and, perhaps, their families.

My earlier article, “The Left’s Immigration Con Game, referenced the extraordinary documentary, “Forgotten Ellis Island, that chronicles the true story about Ellis Island, and the story is not particularly pretty or romantic and runs contrary to the bogus mythology told by the immigration anarchists of today.

On August 16, 2019 CNBC reported, “Advocacy groups file suit to block Trump’s new ‘public charge’ immigration rule” that included this outrageous quote:

“This rule change is a direct attack on communities of color and their families and furthers this administration’s desire to make this country work primarily for the wealthy and white,” said Antionette Dozier, senior attorney at the Western Center on Law and Poverty. “Our immigration system cannot be based on the racial animosities of this administration or whether or not people are wealthy.”

More recently NBC reported, “New York, Connecticut and Vermont sue to block Trump’s public charge rule.

Once again, the Left is resorting to “Lawfare”, filing lawsuits to achieve political objectives.

The quote that appears in the CNBC article noted above from Western Center on Law and Poverty was quick to invoke race.  Let us also be clear that race, religion and/or ethnicity play absolutely no role in determining whether or not to admit aliens into the United States.

The grounds for determining admissibility of aliens into the United States is codified in a section of the current Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S. Code § 1182.

Among the categories of aliens who are excludible are aliens who suffer dangerous communicable diseases, serious mental illness, are criminals, spies, terrorists, human rights violators, fugitives from justice, aliens who had been previously deported (removed) from the United States and aliens who have committed fraud in their applications for visas and/or immigration benefits.

Additionally, it establishes that aliens are inadmissible (excludible) if they are likely to become public charges.

This is how the current Immigration and Nationality Act unambiguously lays out the entire issue of public charge:

(4)  Public charge

(A)   In general

Any alien who, in the opinion of the consular officer at the time of application for a visa, or in the opinion of the Attorney General at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible.

(B)   Factors to be taken into account

(i)  In determining whether an alien is inadmissible under this paragraph, the consular officer or the Attorney General shall at a minimum consider the alien’s–

(I)  age;

(II)  health;

(III)  family status;

(IV)  assets, resources, and financial status;  and

(V)  education and skills.

(ii)  In addition to the factors under clause (i), the consular officer or the Attorney General may also consider any affidavit of support under section 1183a of this title for purposes of exclusion under this paragraph.

The media has accused President Trump of wanting to separate families.  In point of fact, family members may provide an affidavit of support wherein they guarantee that they will provide financial assistance to their family members who seek to immigrate to the United States.  This would help to unite families not divide them.

The issue is not about dividing families or denying poor people an opportunity to immigrate to the United States, but to protect the financial solvency of the United States, an issue of increasing concern as the national debt continues to soar into the stratosphere, by simply enforcing existing laws.

I must remind you that the imposition of American policies to address public charge laws is not new, but has a long-established history that goes back 137 years.

It is clear that the United States is unable to secure its borders.  Billions of humans around the world live below the poverty line.  If the United States was to permit all of the world’s poor to come to America with the expectation of receiving free healthcare, free education, housing subsidies and other such free benefits, our nation would implode.

As it is, our national debt has soared into the stratosphere and continues its upward trajectory.

The time has come for the Radical Left to be reminded of one of their favorite chants, the one that deals with “sustainability!”

EDITORS NOTE: This FrontPage Magazine column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Epic Excuse-Making Follows Near-Fatal Police Shooting By Criminal Alien

When Napa County Sheriff’s Deputy Riley Jarecki initiated a routine traffic stop earlier this month, she probably did not consider that the refusal of California officials to comply with federal immigration authorities had put her in the direct path of a habitual illegal alien criminal with drug and mental health issues.

But that is what happened on Feb. 17 when Jarecki pulled over Javier Hernandez-Morales, who’d been deported three times since 2011 and had arrests for a range of crimes from multiple counts of driving under the influence, battery on a peace officer, illegal possession of a firearm and violating his probation. And there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest, according to Fox News.

After she approached his car window, the Mexican national fired a gun at Jarecki, who shot back, including at least one fatal gunshot.

“It’s unfortunate that our law enforcement partners and the community are subjected to dangerous consequences because of inflexible state laws that protect criminal aliens,” said ICE spokesman Richard Rocha in a statement.

The incident, Rocha said, could have been prevented had ICE been kept in the loop about Hernandez-Morales’ releases from jail. “This is an impactful, scary example of how public safety is affected by laws or policies limiting local law enforcement agencies’ ability to cooperate with ICE,” he said.

When Hernandez immigration status became known, local officials shifted blame and denied wrongdoing by insisting they were following state law.

“We are in compliance with state law. That is the law of the state of California, and the county intends to comply with state law,” Napa County Supervisor Vallea Ramos told a local CBS News affiliate.

The law in question is SB54, a measure signed in 2017 by former Gov. Jerry Brown and that affords protection to all illegal aliens.

The problem for California politicians and local law enforcement who want to absolve themselves of responsibility is that, according to the Los Angeles Times, three detainers for Hernandez-Morales were issued by ICE to Napa County Jail in 2014, 2015 and 2016; and a further detainer to Sonoma County Jail in 2016.

None were honored and all were issued prior to SB54 going into effect.

The controversial law received warranted criticism in December after Newman (Calif.) Police Cpl. Ronil Singh was killed by an illegal alien who had several drunk driving arrests. Like Hernandez, Singh’s murderer should have been deported years ago.

Perhaps the most outrageous displays of blame-shifting is the op-ed penned by Jodi Hernandez, a relative of Jarecki’s attacker.

Published in the Napa Valley Register, the stunning letter implies that Hernandez was merely a victim of an uncaring system that denied him access to mental health care and did not recognize his humanity.

After apologizing to Deputy Jarecki for being forced into a situation where she had to shoot the suspect, Jodi Hernandez launched an assault of her own against enforcing immigration law.

After noting Javier had worked in the vineyards doing work that “kept the engine that is Napa Valley going,” she asserted that America was “rotting from the inside out.”

She went on. Americans, she wrote, “have lost our ability to relate to the rest of humanity from our place of relative affluence in comparison to the rest of the world” and then she argued the nation “cannot ignore the pain and anguish of an individual and expect to have a safe, strong country.”

Javier Hernandez-Morales was a Mexican national. He was in the U.S. illegally. And he was a habitual criminal with an active arrest warrant. The primary responsibility of officials in California is not to tend to his mental health needs of foreign nationals, but the safety and security of their residents and U.S. citizens.

The thinking of open border policymakers and individuals like Jodi Hernandez is not only foolish, but deadly.

COLUMN BY

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JENNIFER G. HICKEY

Jennifer joined FAIR as Web Content Writer in 2017 and brings to the role extensive communications and media background. She began her career as a policy research analyst on multiple national and state political campaigns before entering journalism. In addition to spending over a decade writing for several broadcast and print news outlets, Jennifer directed communications strategy for a member of Congress and a military nonprofit.

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EDITORS NOTE: This FAIR column with images is republished with permission.