The following statement was released on January 29, 2020 regarding the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the changes to the public charge rule which bars immigrants who are recieving certain government benefits from gaining legal immigration status.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the changes to the public charge rule, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns maintains its strong opposition to the changes that will make legal immigration more difficult for people who receive or have received certain government benefits, such as non-emergency Medicaid and food stamps. The potential impact of this rule on poor and vulnerable families is inhumane and unfair. The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns joined other faith leaders and advocates in urging the public to comment in opposition to this rule when it was first announced in August 2019.
The new rule incorrectly assumes that people who receive government benefits now cannot become productive contributors in the future, a proposition that misrepresents U.S. history and belies the core assertions behind many government assistance programs and the Church’s work for economic development and liberation. Maryknoll missioners’ work with migrants and poor families around the world rests on the twin beliefs that we are called to aid those in need and that liberation from poverty is both possible and imperative. This rule contradicts these beliefs.
The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns will continue to work with Maryknoll missioners on the border and with Catholic and interfaith advocacy groups in Washington to address the impact of the rule on immigrant communities and to advocate for more just policy.