Immigrants Being Denied Green Cards

Immigrants in the U.S. who depend on government aid, are now at risk of being denied their green cards. As of Jan. 27, the Supreme Court has given the Trump Administration the ability to deny citizenship. 

El Centro 700S Building
El Centro 700S Building

On Aug. 12, 2019, Ken Cuccinelli, Head of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), spoke at the White House and stated, “Through the public charge rule, President Donald Trump’s administration is reinforcing the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility.” 

While it has been formally addressed by the USCIS, this is a matter that is targeting immigrants of low income while others have reported that this is a matter of race. 

Professor Juan Pablo Mercado is a history professor here at Chabot. He focuses on Chicano studies, and he earned his Ph.D. from the History Department at UCLA.

Mercado mentions that this news is still shocking despite it not being the first of its kind. He calls it part of an, “anti-Mexican History that we have here in the U.S.” 

There is a quote that is displayed at the Statue of Liberty exhibit, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” 

The poem wasn’t added to the statue until 1903. The initial point of the statue was to represent liberty. Once the poem was added, the country believed it represented opportunities for people outside of the U.S., just how the country began. 

Mercado brought up a time during The Great Depression in which the U.S. treated people of Mexican descent wrongfully. “President Hoover was trying to get reelected under those dire economic circumstances.” 

There was an illegal but highly coordinated scheme that blamed Mexicans for using U.S. services. “Not only deny social services but also forcibly deport them. More than half of them were born in the United States.”

Yessica Ramirez has been a Chabot College student for almost four years and a member of the Dreamers Club for a year. She is undocumented, and for her, hearing this ruling was “Heartbreaking and frustrating” as she described it. She fears she may never become a citizen. 

“I think it’s just a cover-up.” Ramirez referred to the reason behind pushing the new rule that the bill isn’t to, “Better ensure that immigrants are able to support themselves,” as Cuccinelli previously started.

She also questioned the present’s knowledge of who the immigrants to this country are. “This is a country of immigrants,” Ramirez stated.

Here at Chabot College, El Centro provides resources for students who need guidance on what steps they need to further their education. They provide connections to counselors, academic services, and help in gaining financial aid. El Centro has fluent Spanish and English speakers to help as many people as possible. 

Ramirez emphasized that within El Centro and the Dreamers Club, there’s a strong supportive community. She understands that many students who are under DACA, like herself, fear that there’s a possibility they could be deported. 

“We’re hardworking. We have more resources than we used to have. We have to take advantage of them.” Ramirez emphasized, “You’re not alone, I relate to you. I really don’t want people to give up.”

Mercado also noticed that within the community of undocumented students, there’s a high level of resiliency. Like Ramirez, Mercado knows that there are fears and worries among these students. “It’s a very tight-knit community that’s continually coming together to share information, and to help support one another.” 

El Centro is located in Building 700S

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Image courtesy of Lupe Hernandez

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