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FPI: 24 Million Would Experience Chilling Effects of Public Charge Rule, 24 October 2018


On October 10, 2018, the Trump Administration published its proposed reinterpretation of a previously arcane rule, known as “public charge.” The new interpretation would radically restrict access to green cards and various types of visas for immigrants who do not have a high enough income, or who have used public health, food, or housing supports they are otherwise qualified to receive. Without input from Congress, the Trump Rule would fundamentally change this country’s approach to immigration, making income and use of public supports central considerations in whether or not to offer people an opportunity to make their lives in this country.

The direct effect would fall on people applying for a green card or certain visas, but the chilling effect would be vastly greater. Many families would very predictably be frightened and confused by the rule. FPI estimates that the chilling effect would extend to 24 million people in the United States, including 9 million children under 18 years old. In New York State, the chilling effect would include 2.1 million people and 680,000 children. These are people in families with at least one non-citizen, and receiving one of the named benefits. In both cases, the large majority of the impacted kids are U.S. citizens.


Michelle Obama’s Becoming is an insight into inequality, feminism and a FLOTUS who broke the mould by Clodagh Harrington, Associate Professor of American Politics, De Montfort University, 11/14/18


Michelle Obama

Time magazine described it as a tour “fit for a rock star”. This is not how book promotional outings are usually billed – but then this is no ordinary tome. The memoirs of Michelle Obama comprise one half of a US$65m joint publishing deal for the former first couple’s autobiographies.

One measure of predicted global interest is that Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, will be translated into 28 languages. The month-long tour plan is bold, taking in ten major arenas, with an all-star line-up of moderators including Oprah Winfrey, author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, businesswoman Valerie Jarrett, actress Sarah Jessica Parker and more. One is left in absolutely no doubt that the legacy of this First Lady stands robustly alongside that of her husband. Very few of her predecessors can make this claim.

Before Barack Obama entered public life, Michelle was his mentor. When he was elected to the Senate, she earned more than him. Many said that she was smarter than him, and he was very smart indeed.


Women candidates break records in the 2018 US midterm elections by Jennifer Mathers, Reader in International Politics, Aberystwyth University, 11 November 2018

Elections 2018

Alexandria Ocasión-Cortez, youngest Congresswoman

The 2018 midterms broke the records on female candidates in US elections. More than 20 women were on the Senate ballot, while more than ten times that number stood for the House of Representatives. After the new senators and representatives are sworn in, Congress will be more diverse in terms of race and religion – with women making a major contribution to this shift.

Rashida Tlaib (Michigan) and Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) share the distinction of becoming the first Muslim women in Congress. Texas sends both of the first two Latina women to Congress, Sylvia Garcia and Veronica Escobar. Several states will send African American women to represent them in Washington for the first time, too, including Massachusetts (Ayanna Pressley) and Connecticut (Jahana Hayes).

In one of the most high-profile races in the country, New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated her Democratic primary opponent – an incumbent who had served ten terms in Congress – and went on to victory on November 6. This was despite her calls for policy changes that many described as radical, including government guarantees for universal health care, employment and housing. At the age of 29, Ocasio-Cortez is now the youngest woman ever to be elected to the US House.

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