For Immediate Release: February 9th, 2018
Contact: Magen Allen Mallen@hungerfreeamerica.org, (212) 825-0028, ext. 212
Trump Reportedly to Target Food Aid to Legal Immigrants
Advocates Call Move “Cruel, Immoral, and Counterproductive.”
The Trump administration is considering making it harder for legal immigrants to become citizens if they or their American-born children use public benefits such as food assistance, Reuters just reported.
Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, a nationwide direct service and advocacy organization, just released this statement in response:
“It is simply cruel to deny food and other life-saving aid to immigrant children who are in the country legally. It equally cruel to deny food and other aid to their parents, who are legally in America, and often performing the nation’s hardest, lowest-paid, and most dangerous work, including constructing our buildings, picking our food, and caring for our children.
Such a policy would also violate every moral tradition. The Old Testament, in Deuteronomy 27, states, “Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner.” In the New Testament, in Matthew 25, Christ preaches that giving food, clothing, and shelter to the ‘least of these’ – including immigrants -– is tantamount to aiding the Lord, and that refusing to do so could result in “eternal punishment.” Every other religious and secular ethical tradition teaches the importance of welcoming and aiding refugees and other immigrants.
This policy would also be counter-productive, making it more difficult for immigrants to enter the nation’s economic mainstream. Census data proves that immigrants who are able to become naturalized citizens of the U.S. have, on average, lower poverty rates and higher income than native-born Americans. That is why making it harder for struggling immigrants to become citizens will make the country both poorer and hungrier.”