BOSTON (AP) — Immigrant rights groups in Massachusetts are turning their attention to the Trump administration's controversial new rule allowing it to deny green cards to immigrants that use certain public benefits.
Monday's“teach-in” at Boston City Hall is meant to educate community leaders about the implications of the new requirement and to address any challenges and questions that might arise locally.
The Trump administration has said the “public charge” rule that officially takes effect Monday is meant to help immigration officials assess whether green card and visa applicants are likely to become a burden on the government by qualifying for certain public benefits like food stamps, Medicaid and housing vouchers.
But critics in Massachusetts and elsewhere say the provision amounts to a “wealth test” on immigrants.
They also say it's already sowing confusion in low income communities as some immigrant families wrongly fear they need to drop any and all public benefits they're entitled to in order to remain in the country and gain legal status.
The U.S. Supreme Court last month allowed the rule to take effect even as lower courts weigh multiple legal challenges against it.
Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh’s Office for Immigrant Advancement is hosting Monday's gathering which organizers say is part of a nationwide push to educate immigrant communities about the changes.
The Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition and the New England chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association are among dozens of local organizations expected to participate.