Trump Administration Poses Restricting Green Cards And Visas For Those Likely To Receive Public Aid

Kristin Clifford - Author

Sep. 22 2018, Updated 8:51 p.m. ET

President Donald Trump and his administration revealed a plan to restrict immigration further on Saturday. CNN reports that the rule was announced Saturday by the Department of Homeland Security. It would make those immigrants seeking to enter the country ineligible for a green card or visa if it seems likely that they or their family would be in need of public benefits.

The immigrants could also be denied the visa, or green card, or to change their legal status once they are in the United States if they have ever, or are likely to receive benefits like public housing or food stamps. Apparently, there is a monetary threshold that must be met in order for immigrants to be ineligible.

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The proposed rule attempts to both broadly interpret and expand upon what is considered a “public charge.” A public charge is someone dependent on, or likely to become dependent on government, and the history of the concept is closely tied to immigration law. The DHS noted that this proposal is a much broader take on the concept.

If the rule passes, even with changes, it could potentially cause many immigrants to be rejected from entry into the United States, or force them to opt out of benefits they might otherwise be eligible for.

“Under long-standing federal law, those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially,” Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said in a DHS news release. “This proposed rule will implement a law passed by Congress intended to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers,” Nielsen said.


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