Taking a Tough Stance: Trump Administration Announces New Rules to Block Green Cards for Current Welfare-Receiving Immigrants; Move Expected to Save U.S. Citizens More than $57B

  • To curb legal immigration, the Trump administration announced on Monday one of its toughest policies to date, which will deny green cards to many migrants who use food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid and other types of welfare programs.
  • Existing federal law requires “those seeking to become permanent residents and gain legal status to prove they will not be a burden to the U.S. — a public charge, in government speak —but the new rules detail a broader range of programs that could disqualify them.”
  • Although the Trump administration is known for its tough stance against illegal immigration, the new rules would target foreigners who have already entered the U.S. legally and are trying to obtain permanent status.
  • This latest move is “part of an effort to move the U.S. to a system that focuses on immigrants’ skills instead of emphasizing the reunification of families.”
  • Additionally, “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will now weigh public assistance along with other factors such as education, household income and health to determine whether to grant legal status.”
  • The new rules are expected to take place in mid-October and won’t apply to U.S. citizens, including those related to an immigrant who is affected by them.
  • According to the government, “on average, 544,000 people apply annually for green cards, with about 382,000 falling into categories that would be subject to this review.”
  • Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, said: “We want to see people coming to this country who are self-sufficient. That’s a core principle of the American dream. It’s deeply embedded in our history, and particularly our history related to legal immigration.”
  • According to reports, “the regulation will be a boon for American taxpayers in the form of an annual $57.4 billion tax cut — the amount taxpayers spend every year on paying for the welfare, crime, and schooling costs of the country’s mass importation of 1.5 million new, mostly low-skilled legal immigrants.”
  • In a report released two years ago, the National Academies of Science noted “that state and local American taxpayers are billed about $1,600 each year per immigrant to pay for their welfare, where immigrant households consume 33 percent more cash welfare than American citizen households.”
  • Immigrant rights groups “are concerned the rules give too much authority to decide whether someone is likely to need public assistance at any time, giving officials the ability to deny legal status to more people.”

Reference Links

  • AP: New Trump rules would further restrict legal immigration READ
  • Fox: Trump administration boosts ability to deny green cards to immigrants using welfare programs READ
  • National Review: Trump Administration Limits Welfare Use by Immigrants READ
  • Breitbart: Trump Ending Welfare-Dependent Immigration, Saving Taxpayers Billions READ

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