Statement on President Trump’s Renewed Attack on Immigrant Families

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In his remarks in Iowa last night, President Trump renewed his attack on millions of immigrant families, including their citizen children. His plan once again was both dangerous and half-baked: the specific idea he floated—a five-year ban on documented immigrants’ receipt of welfare—has been law for over 20 years, but the hostility to low-income families who work hard and raise children was unmistakable.

Most likely, President Trump’s remarks signal an intent to implement policies that the administration has already floated in the form of a draft executive order that would harm not only immigrants themselves but also their children. These children are overwhelmingly U.S. citizens, one quarter of our increasingly diverse child population, and central to our country’s future.

According to CLASP Executive Director Olivia Golden, “it’s unimaginably cruel and unworthy of our nation to force immigrant parents to choose whether to allow their children to go hungry and miss needed health care or to risk deportation. But even beyond the cruelty, such policies fly in the face of research and common sense. Decades of research show that sharply raising child poverty rates and increasing the number of hungry and sick children would be devastating for the United States’ economic future, undercutting the economic and educational success of our future workforce.”

As an organization whose mission is to fight poverty in the United States, CLASP joins a wide range of other leaders—pediatricians, hunger advocates, parents’ groups, faith leaders, children’s advocates, economic justice and worker advocates, immigrant and racial justice advocates, and faith leaders—in opposing these reckless and short-sighted ideas.