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Press Releases - County Council

Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro’s statement on federal public charge rule

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Trump administration’s radical increase of interior and exterior immigration enforcement through Executive Orders, funding requests, and policy guidance, creates a climate of uncertainty and fear, especially within our immigrant community. Time and time again, the current administration’s xenophobic rhetoric and cruel policies targeting immigrants and refugees undermine civil and human rights and rip apart the fragile fabric holding families and communities together.

This latest “public charge” rule, set to go into effect on October 15 is breathtaking in its reach; it not only broadens the definition of “public charge,” thus affecting persons following the legal process to adjust their immigration status, but it also ultimately will have a chilling effect on those individuals who will now choose between forgoing critical public services that their families or themselves might be eligible for, due to fear that it could jeopardize their immigration status.

Montgomery County has a proud history of supporting, valuing, and respecting our immigrant communities regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, sexual identity, or religion. The Council has been on record reaffirming community safety and trust, and denouncing anti-immigrant activity, hate speech, hate crimes and harassment. These family-friendly policies will continue despite the hateful rhetoric ensuing from the White House. Just to be clear, as a matter of policy, in our County, the police department does not inquire about anyone's immigration status, nor do they conduct immigration raids or investigations.

In Montgomery County we recognize the overwhelmingly positive contributions of our immigrant community and their families to the economy, social fabric, diversity, and well-being of our community as a whole. We are vehemently opposed to the “us vs. them” framing and we value the shared humanity, collective prosperity, and the distinct identity that we are a welcoming County, made up of an incredibly vibrant, racially and ethnically diverse community. This is what makes us stronger.

The Trump administration’s numerous messages on immigration are incoherent, divisive and hurtful. We need a comprehensive immigration reform. Absent a comprehensive immigration reform overhaul, local jurisdictions are left to scramble and pick up the pieces of our current broken immigration system. This is not right. We reject Mr. Trump’s attacks on our immigrant community and await the court’s ruling to a lawsuit that has been filed by the National Immigration Law Center challenging the new rule. Click here for information about “Know Your Rights” and other County resources.


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Release ID: 19-276
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931