World

Trump admin proposes to deny green cards to aid recipients

Trump admin proposes to deny green cards to aid recipients

US immigration law has long required officials to exclude a person likely to become a "public charge" from permanent residence.

Out of the 41.5 million immigrants living in the United States, 3.7 percent received cash benefits in 2013, and 22.7 percent accepted noncash benefits including Medicaid, housing subsidies or home heating assistance, according to statistics compiled by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The proposed public charge rule is nothing less than a public disgrace – and a direct attack on the health, housing, and economic security of American children, said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Trump came to power pledging to make immigration to the United States more hard, and reduce the number of people allowed to stay in the country.

USA immigration laws have long contained provisions limiting foreigners who are likely to be dependent on financial aid and therefore a "public charge".

Legal immigrants who use or appear likely to tap public assistance programs could find it harder to come to the US or stay permanently under a Trump administration proposal released Saturday.




"Today's announcement by the Trump Administration is a backdoor, administrative end-run to substantially reduce legal immigration that, if implemented, will hurt our entire country", said FWD.us President Todd Schulte.

The Legal Aid Society echoed concerns that the rule could create a situation where immigrants forgo much-needed assistance for fears of negatively impacting their applications. The rule would also make nonimmigrants who receive or are likely to receive designated public benefits above the designated threshold generally ineligible for change of status and extension of stay.

"This proposed rule will implement a law passed by Congress meant to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers", Nielsen said. Availing of these public benefits above "certain thresholds" would be considered as "a heavily weighed negative factor".

The proposal is an expansion of the "public charge" concept, which means someone who is likely to become dependent on the government, if they aren't already. "This proposed rule will implement a law passed by Congress meant to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers".

The rule would go into effect after a public comment period, at which point it could be challenged in court. Additionally, DHS would not consider disaster relief, emergency medical assistance, benefits received by an alien's US citizen children, and Medicaid benefits received by children of USA citizens and potential adoptive children of US citizens. Previous versions of the regulation would have taken into account the use of benefits by an applicant's children, even those born in the United States, which immigrant advocates said would force people to pull their children out of needed health and food programs.


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