Reform Movement Denounces Supreme Court Decision Allowing Public Charge Expansion to Take Effect
WASHINGTON -- In response to the Supreme Court’s decision to lift the nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the Trump administration’s public charge regulation, Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the wider Reform Movement institutions:
“By allowing the administration’s expanded public charge regulation to go into effect, the Supreme Court’s decision defies American values and will harm immigrants, their families, and the country. This rule would deny legal permanent residency to many immigrants who use, or might use, public benefits in the future. Implementation of this regulation will force families to choose between utilizing programs like SNAP and Medicaid and risking their future residency status in the United States.
“Jewish tradition calls us to “speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:9). The implementation of the public charge regulation will punish some of the most vulnerable residents in the United States. We are reminded 36 times throughout the Torah to love the stranger as our own; compelling people to choose between caring for their health and well-being and their immigration status is not loving, but callous.
“We will continue to support legal action to strike down this rule and urge the Department of Homeland Security to withdraw the rule in its entirety and uphold long-standing principles for public charge clarified in the 1999 field guidance.”
If you are interested in speaking with Rabbi Pesner on this subject further, please reach out to Sarah Clements at email@example.com or 202-765-8584. We would be happy to arrange a conversation.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose nearly 850 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.