The Corona virus has left no segment of our society untouched, but the immigrant community has faced particular challenges, some of which were caused by government regulations. Prospective immigrants have long been required to prove, generally through sponsorship by employers or relatives, that they would not become “public charges.” However, as noted in previous blogs, recent regulations of the Trump administration discouraged those residents seeking green cards or naturalization from requesting temporary assistance with food, shelter, or medical needs. Because of the pandemic, immigration policy made an exception for immigrants who sought medical assistance for treating CVID-19; but health care providers noted that fear was keeping resident aliens from seeking limited services for which they are eligible.
Last week, Judge George Daniels, a federal judge of the Southern District of New York, ordered a preliminary injunction against enforcing such public charge penalties while the effects of the pandemic are still being felt. While the ruling is welcome, it is imperative the Congress set clear, humane, and just policy for the sake of the immigrants and the communities in which they live and work.
Our Mother Mary knew firsthand personal suffering caused by shifting politics and policies; let us ask her to join us in praying for our leaders and our nation.