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The Racism Behind Trump's New ‘Public Charge’ Immigration Policy, Explained

The changes to the “public charge” rule fit into a long history of attempting to restrict immigration based on race and ethnicity.
At a protest march following a Spanish Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Canton, Mississippi, children of mainly Latino immigrant parents hold signs in support of them and others picked up during an immigration raid at a food processing plant in Canton.
At a protest march following a Spanish Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Canton, Mississippi, children of mainly Latino immigrant parents hold signs in support of them and others picked up during an immigration raid at a food processing plant in Canton.Rogelio V. Solis/AP

On Monday, the Trump administration announced new restrictions on whether immigrants can enter and remain in the United States by changing the definition of “public charge” (i.e. those who depend on financial government assistance). The new rule, scheduled to take effect in mid-October, will penalize immigrants who access public benefits such as Medicaid and food stamps by making them ineligible for green cards.

Experts on the issue say this will deter immigrants who are in the U.S. legally from accessing necessities like food and medical care out of fear of compromising their chances of becoming a permanent resident.