On Monday, January 27, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration had every right to expand the “public charge” rule that denies entry to immigrants whose income primarily depends upon government assistance. In other words, anyone seeking entry should show proof that they will not be a burden upon public welfare programs that are already stretched too thin.
In case you missed it, Neil Gorsuch took the opportunity to excoriate activist judges who issue sweeping injunctions against a policy with which they disagree.
In response, Oregon Governor Kate Brown tweeted:
This rule is wrong, and we will not stand for intolerance in America. It was designed by the Trump administration to intimidate working immigrants who live here lawfully, simply for trying to provide for their children. https://t.co/YOv87EfL8U
— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) January 27, 2020
Look, I fully understand the concept of throwing red meat to your base to gin up the #resistance, but showing this level of ignorance is just embarrassing — or should be.
It should go without saying, but probably bears repeating for those incapable of setting down their Trump Derangement Syndrome for just a moment: working immigrants probably won’t become a public charge.
Further, the public charge rule did not originate with the Trump administration, as Kate Brown should surely know. As CNN (ironically) reports about two-thirds of the way through their article:
The “public charge” provision dates back at least to the Immigration Act of 1882. Federal lawmakers at the time wanted to make sure that immigrants would be able to take care of themselves and not end up a public burden.
Under current regulations put in place in 1996, the term is defined as someone who is “primarily dependent” on government assistance, meaning it supplies more than half their income.
But it only counted cash benefits, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income from Social Security. The administration’s new rule widens the definition of who is expected to be dependent on the government by including more benefit programs.
It’s hard to know exactly how many people would be affected by the regulation because it’s largely subject to the discretion of the officer who will take into account whether someone is likely to become a public charge.
So to review: an immigration regulation that the Constitution specifically allows the executive branch to write, that has existed for almost 140 years, was revised 24 years ago, and expanded in August in response to a border and welfare crisis, all of a sudden makes Trump a racist nationalist xenophobe who hates immigrants (who aren’t his wife).
As you can imagine, things didn’t go well in Governor Brown’s replies:
Kate Brown thinks we can afford to be the school, hospital, nursing home, and welfare office for the entire planet.
— Otto I (@TTallis1505) January 27, 2020
Democrats want as many people depending on them/government for the basics of life, that insures them their votes. Terrible.
Hard working taxpayers baring the costs once again. #Democrats like Brown, have moved alot of us Registered Independent voters more to the right.
— Nick Ne1s0n (@NickName541) January 27, 2020
Fix all of this first….Oregonians are pissed that politicians are putting non citizens before Americans…https://t.co/rAJB9MPGO9
— kat 🌹🇺🇸 (@rosie97213) January 27, 2020
The rule is wrong? It’s federal law!
But I wouldn’t expect a politician from a sanctuary state to understand federal law. https://t.co/VqSGafpilc
— Ozetty (@Ozetty) January 27, 2020
I would like to see Kate Stand for American Citizens. I’ve seen the RISE of homelessness, mental health drug problems and crime in Oregon. We have an Emergency situation right here in Oregon and it needs to be addressed ASAP. Citizens are in NEED.
— Marla🌻 (@MarlaLancaster) January 27, 2020
Portland-based conservative talk show host Lars Larson weighed in:
The "rule is wrong"? @OregonGovBrown it's a FEDERAL LAW!. Run for Congress and get it changed if you don't agree…but in the meantime obey the law. A lot of your rules are wrong too Katy. But I don't get to violate them. Your 5cent bag rule is wrong. Most gun laws wrong. Etc https://t.co/83ZP02Ed03
— Lars Larson (@LarsLarsonShow) January 28, 2020
And of course, I couldn’t help but offer some guidance:
Goodness gracious, a sitting governor who has no clue how government works or who wrote the original law. This is embarrassing – or at least it should be. https://t.co/1SUdGPvHpd
— jeffery reynolds (@ChargerJeff) January 28, 2020
Is it too much to ask that a sitting governor understand basic civics? No wonder the Oregon Republican Party is pondering another recall to have her removed.
One last shot, I couldn’t resist.
Hey by the way @oregongovbrown your twitter bio says you're fighting for jobs and schools (presumably for Oregonians). How does encouraging more public charges advance those causes? #justcurious #resist #indivisible #orcot #orpol #orgov #stoptheabuse
— jeffery reynolds (@ChargerJeff) January 28, 2020