(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate health and education committee, issued the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement finalizing its rule that would penalize immigrants for accessing a broad array of public benefits, including Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and more.  

“President Trump’s decision to move forward with this shameful rule threatens the lives and livelihoods of families in Washington state and beyond, and shows yet again that he is more concerned with terrorizing immigrant communities and advancing his bigoted anti-immigrant agenda than fixing our broken immigration system. This move is a cold-hearted departure from our nation’s highest values, and I oppose it in the strongest terms.”


Senator Murray has long opposed President Trump’s proposed public charge rule, citing anecdotes from individuals and families in Washington state who have already been adversely affected by the Trump administration’s proposed policy shift and demanding the Department of Homeland Security withdraw the proposed regulation during U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ public comment period.  As a voice for Washington state, Senator Murray had previously urged then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to rescind the Department’s proposed rule expanding the definition of “public charge,” which would require immigration officers to consider an individual’s use of public benefits when applying for travel to the U.S. or adjustment of immigration status—a departure from decades of immigration policy that could deter lawful immigrants and their citizen family members from using public benefits they are otherwise eligible to receive.