Trump Moves Forward With New Rule: No Green Cards for Welfare Users
Written by Luis Miguel
The Trump administration is moving forward with implementation of its “public charge” rule, which restricts issuance of green cards for immigrants who would be dependent on government welfare upon receiving permanent resident status.
Democrats have opposed the rule, but officials maintain it is a necessary step to protect American taxpayers.
“It’s consistent with our law for over 140 years, it’s a core American value of self-sufficiency, and it’s just plain old logic — what country wants to bring welfare problems into its society? We don’t want to do that,” said acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli. “We’re happy to open our doors to people from all over the world but we expect them to stand on their own two feet.”
The rule was initially slated to take effect in October of last year after being published in August, but was halted by various court challenges. In January, however, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted preliminary injunctions in a 5-4 vote. And on Friday, the court ruled the same way on a separate injunction for Illinois — allowing the rule to go into effect throughout the country beginning Monday.
“This final rule will protect hardworking American taxpayers, safeguard welfare programs for truly needy Americans, reduce the Federal deficit, and re-establish the fundamental legal principle that newcomers to our society should be financially self-reliant and not dependent on the largess of United State
s taxpayers,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
U.S. immigration law already includes a “public charge” standard that requires immigrants to provide documents demonstrating self-sufficiency. The standard, however, has until now lacked a formal statutory definition.
The Trump administration’s new rule clarifies the matter by defining a “public charge” as an immigrant who receives one or more designated benefits for more than 12 months during a 35-month period. The list of designated benefits includes Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and most forms of Medicaid. The rule expands the considered benefits from interim guidance that had been issued back in 1999.
It does contain exclusions for certain forms of government assistance, however, including emergency medical assistance, disaster relief, national school lunch programs, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Medicaid received by pregnant women and persons under age 21. Tax credits are also included on the exemptions list.
The rule will be applied to immigrants with temporary or nonimmigrant visas who seek to change their status to legal permanent resident. While DHS estimates 382,000 immigrants would be reviewed per year, it is not certain how many green card applicants would be rejected under the new standards.
Liberal and pro-immigration groups have strongly opposed the rule, arguing it would discourage migrants from seeking government help because doing so might disqualify them from permanent residency eligibility. Proponents of the rule might argue that’s the point.
“Nearly every sector of society has gone on record in opposition to this morally repugnant and legally dubious regulation, and for good reason: its implementation will hurt countless of immigrant and citizen families, and we’re all worse off as a result,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center.
Bernie Sanders, who leads the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, has stated he would reverse the rule if elected, claiming it and other Trump immigration policies are “designed to demonize and hurt those who are the most vulnerable of all.”
Cuccinelli countered that such arguments highlight a “fundamental difference” in immigration perspectives.
“We don’t think immigrants should be relying on the U.S. government for welfare and they have some legal ability to do that, but if that’s their approach to the United States of America and they have no interest in self-sufficiency and standing on their own two feet, that’s not who we want joining our American community long term.”
The DHS head also said that many Americans are surprised such a rule is even needed:
The reaction by most ordinary Americans that talk to me about this is ‘I can’t believe we needed to do this, I can’t believe that welfare is available for people who aren’t American citizens or who aren’t already here on a permanent basis.’ They are stunned by that for starters and the idea that we would encourage that is not something I have seen much in the way of favorable response.
While President Trump’s immigration agenda has repeatedly faced setbacks in the courts, it has also scored victories. The Supreme Court has allowed enforcement of the president’s travel ban and the Remain-in-Mexico policy, which sends illegal aliens to Mexico while they await their immigration hearings.
Cuccinelli suggested the wins are sending a message to activist judges: “Some of these lower courts are, I think, gradually getting the message that they have to start being judges again and stop being political activists.”
Luis Miguel is a writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.
Courtesy of The New American