American politician for New York’s Bronx and Queens districts, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or as she is infamously known ‘AOC’, has stood up for the American dream against the Trump administration’s attempts to destroy it.
A Supreme Court decision recently ruled in favour of allowing the Trump Administration to make life difficult for immigrants who may require public assistance. The proposed “public charge” policy changes would make it difficult for an immigrant to obtain much-coveted legal status should they need access to housing or financial welfare support.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials under the policy would have the power to deny visas and green cards to potential US citizens. To deny status on these grounds, the ICE official must believe the individual applying for status may need subsidised housing, food stamp support or Medicaid in the near future.
The test will consider points a person scores and assess factors such as fluency in English and employment.
Past figures show that fewer than 1 per cent of those seeking a green card in America have been rejected with ‘public charge’ cited as the reason for rejection, showing how rare it is, and the lengths Trump’s America will go to in order to deny an immigrant legal status.
The policy will give ICE free reign to deem an immigrant unworthy based on an unfair points system that will be designed to ensure failure
Previously Trump has said of undocumented immigrants: “these aren’t people, these are animals.” Language like this encourages government officials, including ICE, to see people as less than human. If immigration enforcement can see a vulnerable individual as a ‘public charge’, and that this is the rhetoric the President uses, surely refusal rates based on the hunches of officials will skyrocket. Ingrained human biases may well take the lead over just and democratic decisions.
Ocasio-Cortez critiqued the Supreme Court’s decision on Twitter, stating: “America shouldn’t have a wealth test for admission. It’s a place where millions of people are descendants of immigrants who came with nothing and made a life. The American Dream isn’t a private club with a cover charge – it’s the possibility of remaking your future.”
The American dream is defined as the protection of the individual’s right to achieve success, usually economic success – regardless of background or identity – and protected under The Declaration of Independence.
The policy will give ICE free reign to deem an immigrant unworthy based on an unfair points system that will be designed to ensure failure. Many migrants, who may not be fluent in English or already have a job in the US secured, still bring a wealth of skills and experience that will allow them to flourish in a new country.
A dream to succeed from “nothing” has been the selling point for America for millions of its citizens. Taking that chance away is denying America’s future.
Whether someone is migrating for better economic prospects, a more secure place to live or to be with family, these are all valid reasons for migration that have driven millions of people across the globe for centuries to seek new adventures in new lands. The reasons for migration are vast and complex, as are the life histories of those migrating.
Ocasio-Cortez is right. A dream to succeed from “nothing” has been the selling point for America for millions of its citizens. Taking that chance away is denying America’s future.