UPDATE (8/7): The Trump administration is finalizing the rule to penalize legal immigrants for accessing a wide range of benefits, from children’s health insurance to Affordable Care Act insurance subsidies. We must make our voices heard and block this hateful rule from being implemented.

The Trump administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a policy to penalize immigrants and their US-citizen children for accessing a wide range of public benefits, including common tax deductions. When considering whether to provide applicants with immigration visas or legal permanent residency, DHS already penalizes immigrants who receive cash welfare payments. However, DHS is proposing to expand this rule and penalize immigrants who use any form of public benefit, from health insurance subsidies to the earned income tax credit used by about one-fifth of taxpayers. The rule, which was crafted by the notoriously xenophobic Stephen Miller, also penalizes immigrants whose US-citizen spouses or children use a public benefit. Under this new rule, immigrants would be disqualified from receiving a green card if they claim nearly any benefits or if DHS deems them likely to receive benefits in the future.

As is typical with the Trump administration, the reasoning for this proposed rule is utterly divorced from the facts. Rather than being a “burden” on the economy, immigrants pay billions in taxes, create new jobs and businesses, and use public benefits at the same rate as US-born people. Punishing immigrants for accessing basic government services will harm our communities and the economy and must not be tolerated.


Hi, my name is ____ and I'm a constituent from ____. I'm calling to urge _____ to speak out against the Department of Homeland Security's proposal to penalize legal immigrants for accessing non-cash public benefits. Legal immigrants pay billions in taxes, stimulate the economy, and deserve the right to access basic benefits like the earned income tax credit.

Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Senator Hirono / Twitter @maziehirono / Facebook@mazie.hirono
Phone (808) 522-8970 (send her a free fax)

Senator Schatz / Twitter @brianschatz / Facebook @brianschatz
Phone (808) 523-2061 (send him a free fax)

Congressperson Tulsi Gabbard (808) 541-1986 or (202) 225-4906 / (send her a free fax)

Congressperson Colleen Hanabusa (808) 541-2570 or (202) 225-2726 / (if you are not in her district, email (send her a free fax)