Joe Cimperman, President, Global Cleveland
January 27, 2020

Global Cleveland, a nonprofit organization that exists to connect immigrants and newcomers to economic, social and educational opportunities in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, opposes the current interpretation by the Trump administration of the “public charge” rule.

The organization sees first-hand the positive impact immigrants have on the region’s economic success. Limiting the ability for immigrants to become permanent residents of the United States would adversely affect the entire country’s economy and will push both high-skilled workers and international students to seek education and employment opportunities in other countries, therefore limiting the U.S.’s economic growth in the long-term.

Global Cleveland’s President Joe Cimperman said, “We are deeply disappointed the Supreme Court lifted the injunction to pave the way for this new interpretation to take effect. Immigrants not only make our country stronger economically, they also bring their creative genius to start businesses and employ Americans. We should work together to create a welcoming climate that is inclusive of people from all places, faiths and cultural traditions. We promote equity and inclusion practices throughout our region and the Trump administration’s new rule would adversely affect every American’s prosperity.”

The changes to the public charge will create a chilling effect, and already has, which is affecting immigrants. Enrollment rates are dropping. Parents are being forced to choose between applying for a green card or using SNAP benefits to feed their family or take their sick children to the doctor. In what world is that right? In what nation is that acceptable?

Public benefits are a safety net to help families get ahead when times are good and help families stay out of abject poverty when times are bad. They allow people to go to school to become better educated and earn more instead of working just to make ends meet. The public charge changes will now use that to deny an immigrant the right to stay here or the right to adjust their status and get on track to become full citizens. As it stands, 1/3 of U.S. citizens would fail the public charge criteria if it were applied to everyone. Do we want every third neighbor forced out simply because they do not earn enough money? What about the immigrant student who has a degree from a great university but doesn’t earn a high enough salary? Shouldn’t they be allowed to stay?

The new rule would effectively stop legal immigration, a process which was open to ALL of our forebears. Let’s not limit and close that same process that allowed us to be Americans to others just because they are different from many of us.

Global Cleveland’s mission is to attract, welcome and connect international newcomers to economic, social and educational opportunities in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. We pride ourselves on being a welcoming voice for immigrants and newcomers to Cleveland. By promoting a spirit of welcome and regional prosperity, we set the table for internationalization and economic growth.