23:15 GMT22 February 2020
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    The US Supreme Court has voted to allow the Trump administration to enforce a “public charge” policy that would deny US permanent residence status to immigrants who use federal welfare programs, a move that is part of an infrastructural system to bully immigrants, Juan Carlos Ruiz, cofounder of the New Sanctuary Movement, told Sputnik Tuesday.

    “This another frontal attempt against our immigrant communities, against asylum seekers, and basically erodes any kind of aid that most of our asylum seekers do need to establish themselves, to resettle in this country,” Ruiz told Loud & Clear host Brian Becker on Tuesday.

    “When people come to this country, especially refugees and asylum seekers, we know by a fact that they are fleeing violent conditions, be it poverty, be it criminalized group activities, and all that violence kind of affects the way they come into the country with little or no resources,” he said. “This whole infrastructural terror that criminalizes, that distorts who these immigrants are, who these asylum seekers are, and you know, we have in place this infrastructure of terror.”

    The activist said this latest attack “is the administration bullying people into detention centers, bullying people into an only-enforcement kind of policy that supports and feeds the platform where our president [hopes to relelect] himself. His platform is a platform of xenophobia, or hatred, and basically trampling the immigrant rights that they have as they seek our shores, as they seek our new way of living, as they come into this country.”

    The Supreme Court’s 5-4 vote rejected a lower court’s ruling that blocked the Trump administration from implementing a “public charge” policy that would redefine what it means to be dependent on government benefits, according to the Boundless legal blog. By doing so, the Trump administration will be able to more tightly control the boundaries of legal immigration to the US.

    A 2018 report published by the American nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation found that around 42% of legal immigrants could see their green card applications weighed negatively because of Trump’s proposed rule. In addition, 94% of all applicants could undergo additional scrutiny after using at least one US federal welfare program.

    US President Donald Trump last year also proposed a merit-based immigration system titled “Build America,” under which the proportion of highly-skilled immigrants allowed into the US would increase from 12% to 57%. The proposal has been heavily criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which says it’s a crackdown on people in lower socioeconomic classes.

    “We are already in a humanitarian crisis. This administration characterizes itself for bullying practices, and now they want to not only implement but they want to have these policies being part of this machinery of deportation, detention. We have whole industries that are already blaming and victimizing poor people, whether they are immigrants or not. At some point, these lines are blurred, and anybody who fits this profile, who looks different, they are going to be attacked,” Ruiz noted.

    “Mobility, moving, migrating is a human right,” Ruiz added.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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