Tuesday, 20 August, 2019


Trump Finalizes Rule to Punish Immigrants for Using Public Benefits

Latino immigrant parents Trump administration makes it easier to deny green cards to immigrants
Bennie Garza | 12 August, 2019, 22:10

Announcing a new definition of the longstanding "public charge" law, the White House said migrants will be blocked from entering the country if they are likely to need public assistance, and those already here will not be able to obtain green cards or United States citizenship.

The Trump administration has pushed aggressively against undocumented immigrants arguing it favours legal immigration, which it has sought to overhaul at the same time to protect local Americans from being displaced, under the overarching vision laid out by the president, "Buy American, Hire Americans".

The Trump administration finalized a new change Monday that could make it more hard for low-income immigrants legally in the United States to stay, through enforcement of the so-called "public charge" rule.

"For over a century, the public charge ground of inadmissibility has been part of our nation's immigration laws".

"This latest racially-motivated policy is a painful reminder that behind [President] Donald Trump's bluster, bureaucrats like [top adviser] Stephen Miller will stop at nothing to attack immigrants and destroy our legal immigration system", Hincapié said in astatement. They would likely face higher income requirements after the new rule takes effect, The Wall Street Journal reported.

While the Trump administration has already been cracking down on potential immigrant welfare recipients, the updated version of the rule rolled out Monday morning will incorporate more types of public benefits that will be considered in the process and is an effort to "better ensure" that legal immigrants to the United States are "self-sufficient", per a DHS news release. And it defines the term "public benefit" to include any cash benefits from the government for income maintenance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), most forms of Medicaid, and certain housing programs.

He added, "It will also have the long-term benefit of protecting taxpayers by ensuring people who are immigrating to this country don't become public burdens, that they can stand on their own two feet, as immigrants in years past have done".

"This news is a cruel new step toward weaponizing programs that are intended to help people by making them, instead, a means of separating families and sending immigrants and communities of color one message: you are not welcome here", NILC executive director Marielena Hincapie said in a statement Monday.

That's about $6.89 per USA citizen.

Immigration officials, under the change, could also take into account an applicant's financial resources, health, education, skills, family status and age.

The rule is prospective, and will only apply to applications starting October 1. Some 800,000 green cards were granted in 2016. Cuccinelli says he's "certainly not prepared to take anything down off the Statue of Liberty".

The White House said on Monday that migrants will be blocked from entering the country if they are likely to need public assistance, and those already in the U.S. will not be able to obtain green cards or citizenship.

In early 2018, Trump rejected a bipartisan effort in Congress to reform the nation's immigration system that became embroiled in controversy over accusations by a Democratic senator that the Republican president profanely disparaged African and Caribbean nations in regard to their immigrants.

The State Department changed its foreign affairs manual in January 2018 to give diplomats wider discretion in deciding visa denials on public-charge grounds.

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