LOS ANGELES --GABRIELA - Los Angeles, a chapter of the progressive grassroots international Filipino women’s alliance, condemns the Supreme Court’s decision to greenlight the Trump administration’s new “public charge” immigration restriction, which would allow officials to deny green cards to immigrants who may need government assistance.
The following is a statement from Ariana Rodriguez, Secretary General of GABRIELA - Los Angeles:
“We as GABRIELA - Los Angeles condemn the “public charge” ruling by the Supreme Court and see it as a continuation of the U.S.’s long-standing racist, anti-poor, and xenophobic immigration policies. By penalizing immigrants who may seek benefits, this decision effectively restricts legal immigration of low-income people and forces immigrants to choose between legal status and secure housing, food, and healthcare for themselves and their families.
“This Supreme Court ruling is yet another attack against immigrant women and children, who make up the majority of immigrants in the U.S. Certainly, this rule only imposes greater adversity and distress on immigrant families, who are already victimized by U.S. foreign policy even before they enter the country. Decades-long U.S.-led wars and unequal trade agreements have destabilized their home countries, forcing women from countries like Mexico, El Salvador, and the Philippines to migrate to the U.S., only to be denied the opportunities for a more stable livelihood and safer future for their families.
“We urge the public not to fall for the Trump administration’s claim that this rule is a “cost-saving” measure. In reality, the Trump administration is hoarding public money to make way for a defense budget of $718 billion dollars. This outrageous proposal will
fund wars abroad and tighten the state’s surveillance of, and control over, poor and working class people at home.
“This rule tracks with current national policy that already denies adequate services and assistance to U.S. citizens. The Trump administration is merely continuing on a national tradition of painting poor people as undeserving, while those who are wealthier are exclusively granted preferential treatment.
“So long as neoliberal trade agreements and U.S. intervention continue, this will not stop immigration into the U.S., contrary to what Trump’s anti-immigrant administration claims. This “public charge” rule will only further entrench immigrant families in poverty, and therefore make them vulnerable to criminalization, labor exploitation, homelessness, illness, hunger, and family separation.
“Filipinos in the U.S. should vehemently oppose this rule, especially since 1 in 4 Filipino immigrants in the United States are undocumented.
“We call on all to condemn Trump’s “public charge” expansion and demand just immigration reform and an end to the root causes of forced migration: U.S.-led wars and neoliberal trade agreements.”
GABRIELA LA is a grassroots organization serving Filipinas in the Los Angeles community to address the rights and welfare of women through education, organizing, campaigns, and cultural work. We strive to build a mass movement recognizing that the problems Filipina women face are linked to the root problems of the Philippines.