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Proposed ‘Public Charge’ Changes Limit Opportunity for Immigrants and U.S. Employers

Proposed ‘Public Charge’ Changes Limit Opportunity for Immigrants and U.S. Employers

Over the weekend, the Trump administration released a proposed rule to dramatically limit an individual’s use of critical programs and services to meet basic living requirements like food and shelter and may be evaluated to determine eligibility for green cards, visa status change or admission to the United States. As stated in the proposed rule, a person may be denied admission to the US, lawful permanent resident (LPR) status or a visa extension on “public charge” grounds if they use certain health, nutrition, workforce and housing programs. The publication of the proposed changes to public charge opens a 60-day comment period in which advocates and the public can respond.

Said Jina Krause-Vilmar, CEO of Upwardly Global:

“We’ve seen first-hand how thousands of skilled, work-authorized immigrants climb the ladder from low-wage survival jobs to rebuilding successful careers in their professions. The new rules released today ignore this reality and overlook the potential of these new arrivals, limiting their opportunity to meaningfully contribute to our communities, businesses and economy as they have for generations. Instead of implementing changes that will help our country succeed and grow, this proposed rule change would rob the U.S. of the raw talent and resilience has always powered it forward.

Nearly half of all newly-arrived immigrants have at least a bachelor’s degree but almost 2 million college-educated immigrants are unemployed or underemployed, as they face many cultural and structural barriers to regaining their careers. Those who will be adversely impacted by this shift face real barriers to accessing professional employment and many have relied on public aid programs to make ends meet while they rebuild their lives in the United States. While their journeys may be bumpy, their ambition to contribute to the economy and their communities is unwavering.

“The businesses we work with, large and small, across the country are looking for ways to fill their workforce with new, diverse pool of talent and we hope that the government finds ways to support this urgent call.”

Upwardly Global has helped over 5,500 immigrants and refugees secure professional positions, over half of whom filled STEM roles, that leverage their education, experience and skills and connect them to companies struggling to fill critical gaps in their workforce. Together, those that Upwardly Global has placed in jobs have generated 42 million a year in tax revenue and consumer spending. The organization has partnerships with businesses across the country, maintains a database of candidates for employers to access, and hosts training programs to help immigrant and refugee job-seekers integrate into the American workforce.

Upwardly Global, founded in 2000, is the leading nonprofit organization in the U.S. helping work-authorized immigrants and refugees successfully translate their education, skills and previous careers into the U.S. workforce. To date, the organization has trained nearly 14,000 foreign-educated immigrants and has assisted over 5,600 individuals back into their career fields.