September 17, 2019

Harris, Feinstein, Senate Democrats Introduce Legislation to Block Implementation of Trump Administration’s So-Called “Public Charge” Rule

The Protect American Values Act Would Prohibit the Government from Using Federal Funds to Carry Out Latest Trump Administration Attack on Immigrant Families 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Tuesday joined Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and 24 Senate Democrats in introducing the Protect American Values Act – legislation that would prohibit the Trump Administration from using federal funding to implement its so-called “public charge” rule. Scheduled to go into effect on October 15, 2019, the “public charge” rule aims to prevent immigrants from coming to or staying in the United States based on factors such as their wealth, family size, age, skills, level of education, or ability to speak English.

“This administration is deliberately punishing people who are trying to build a better life by forcing them to choose between meeting their basic needs and being able to live in this country. It’s cruel, and it runs counter to everything our country stands for,” Senator Harris said. “I’m proud to co-sponsor the Protect American Values Act because it stops this administration from eroding our values. Simply put, we should be looking out for our neighbors, not vilifying them for political gain.”

“Our country is stronger because we’ve been so open to immigrants who come here to build better lives for themselves and boost our country in the process,” Senator Feinstein said. “They shouldn’t be denied that opportunity because a government official believes they’re not wealthy enough. The administration shouldn’t give immigration officials the ability to discriminate against poor immigrants. That’s not who we are as a country.”

Along with Harris, Feinstein, and Hirono, the Protect American Values Act is co-sponsored by Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Coons (D-DE), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM).