News & Politics

Oregon Gov Ignores 130+ Years of History to Pander to Liberal Base Over Trump's 'Public Charge' Rule

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signs an executive order in Salem, Ore., on April 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Kristena Hansen)

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:

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:

Portland-based conservative talk show host Lars Larson weighed in:

And of course, I couldn’t help but offer some guidance:

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.