My Blind Spot believes in accessibility for all and deeply understands how access to the right tools creates infinite possibilities. We employ people of all abilities and all ethnicities, even employing people who currently live beyond the borders of the United States. Our team, this human capital, is the driving force behind My Blind Spot, enabling us to fulfill our mission and vision as an organization who was built on the belief accessibility is a human right. For these reasons, and many more, My Blind Spot adamantly opposes the proposed Public Charge Rule being put forth by the Department of Homeland Security.
In short, this is what the Department of Homeland Security is proposing:
“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to prescribe how it determines whether an alien is inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) because he or she is likely at any time to become a public charge. Aliens who seek adjustment of status or a visa, or who are applicants for admission, must establish that they are not likely at any time to become a public charge, unless Congress has expressly exempted them from this ground of inadmissibility or has otherwise permitted them to seek a waiver of inadmissibility. Moreover, DHS proposes to require all aliens seeking an extension of stay or change of status to demonstrate that they have not received, are not currently receiving, nor are likely to receive, public benefits as defined in the proposed rule.DHS is proposing to define a public charge as an alien who receives one or more public benefits, as defined in 8 CFR 212.21(b). DHS believes that its proposed definition of public charge is consistent with legislative history, case law, and the ordinary meaning of public charge.”
If many of the individuals powering and empowering My Blind Spot’s mission did not have access to the tools they need to earn an education, remain competitive in the workforce, or pay their bills, they would not be able to live independent lives and be contributing members of society
Some of these basic tools that are often taken for granted include:
- Crisis counseling and intervention programs; services and assistance relating to child protection, adult protective services, violence and abuse prevention, victims of domestic violence or other criminal activity; or treatment of mental illness or substance abuse;
- Short-term shelter or housing assistance for the homeless, for victims of domestic violence, or for runaway, abused, or abandoned children;
- Programs, services, or assistance to help individuals during periods of heat, cold, or other adverse weather conditions;
- Soup kitchens, community food banks, senior nutrition programs such as meals on wheels, and other such community nutritional services for persons requiring special assistance;
- Medical and public health services (including treatment and prevention of diseases and injuries) and mental health, disability, or substance abuse assistance necessary to protect life or safety;
- Activities designed to protect the life or safety of workers, children and youths, or community residents; and
- Any other programs, services, or assistance necessary for the protection of life or safety.
Not only does the Public Charge Rule remove access to these programs for all immigrants coming into the United States, but even to gain admission into the US, individuals are subject to proving their capability of remaining “self-sufficient”.
“DHS seeks to better ensure that applicants for admission to the United States and applicants for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident who are subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility are self-sufficient, i.e., do not depend on public resources to meet their needs, but rather rely on their own capabilities and the resources of their family, sponsor, and private organizations. Under section 212(a)(4) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(4), an alien is inadmissible if, at the time of an application for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status, he or she is likely at any time to become a public charge. The statute requires DHS to consider the following minimum factors that reflect the likelihood that an alien will become a public charge: The alien’s age; health; family status; assets, resources, and financial status; and education and skills. DHS may also consider any affidavit of support submitted by the alien’s sponsor and any other factor relevant to the likelihood of the alien becoming a public charge.
As noted in precedent administrative decisions, determining the likelihood of an alien becoming a public charge involves “consideration of all the factors bearing on the alien’s ability or potential ability to be self-supporting.”  These decisions, in general, conclude that an alien who is incapable of earning a livelihood, who does not have sufficient funds in the United States for support, and who has no person in the United States willing and able to assure the alien will not need public support generally is inadmissible as likely to become a public charge.”
My Blind Spot believes in people. It is people who power this great nation we call the United States.
Historically, the individuals who overcome the most difficulty and hardship are often the individuals who end up succeeding in education, business and life exponentially more than those born into privilege.
Significantly restricting individuals from entering the United States because they’re weak, they’re poor, or they’re hungry is contradictory to the foundation this nation was built on. It is contradictory to human rights. And it is contradictory to what we believe here at My Blind Spot.
If you agree, then you can join MBS in stopping the Public Charge Rule from happening by:
- Create awareness of the Public Charge Rule by sharing this post and telling your network what human rights you believe in.
- Submit your comments and disdain for the Public Charge Rule using either of the below channels:
- Federal eRulemaking Portal (preferred): www.regulations.gov. Follow the website instructions for submitting comments.
- Mail: Samantha Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20529-2140. To ensure proper handling, please reference DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-0012 in your correspondence. Mail must be postmarked by the comment submission deadline.
For Further Information Contact:
Residence and Naturalization Division Chief, Office of Policy and Strategy
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security
20 Massachusetts NW, Washington, DC 20529-2140