Trump Admin to Block Illegals Who Seek Welfare Benefits

Trump administration makes it easier to deny green cards to immigrants

The new rules could deny green cards to immigrants who use public benefits like food stamps or Medicaid for more than 12 months within a 36-month period, but many immigration activists believe the policy's goal is to make it harder for poor people of color to make the US their permanent home.

"It's going to lead to the exclusion of tens or hundreds of thousands of immigrants who are going to be productive members of American society, if they were given legal status in this country", Bier says, adding that the formula the government will now use to determine if an immigrant is or will be a public charge is "entirely baseless".

The Trump administration had hailed a large drop in migrant border crossings Thursday but found itself under attack over a massive sweep of long-resident undocumented immigrants working in several MS slaughterhouses.

US Border Patrol agents detained or blocked 82,049 migrants at the frontier with Mexico last month, down from 104,367 in June and a 13-year peak of 144,266 in May.

The regulation also excludes benefits for individuals in the US armed forces, as well as their spouses and children.

"The principle driving it is an old American value, and that's self-sufficiency", Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, told Fox News in an interview.

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"It's totally changing the conception of what it means to be a public charge", said David Bier, immigration policy analyst at the libertarian CATO Institute. Immigrants "most commonly" avoided signing up for SNAP benefits and Medicaid because of the rule, the report said.

The New York mayor's Office and immigration think tanks say just the anticipation of that provision already has caused large numbers of legal immigrants to abstain from seeking help through such programs - despite being legally entitled to do so - because they are afraid it will hinder their ability to become citizens or remain in the United States. Observing that self-sufficiency has always been a basic principle of our Nation's immigration laws that has enjoyed widespread support, the White House said public charge has been a part of the USA immigration law for more than 100 years as a ground of inadmissibility. It would favor wealthier applicants in the nation's immigration system and could dramatically impact poor immigrants who may be forced to choose between accepting public assistance and living and working in the country legally.

Cuccinelli argues that immigrants who have used these benefits can still advocate for getting a green card or legal status. "Is that sentiment, give us 'your exhausted, your poor, ' still operative in the United States, or ... should the plaque come down from the Statue of Liberty?'" Federal laws now require that immigrants prove that they will not be a burden to the USA or a "public charge".

Miller, asked in 2017 about whether the administration's policies toward immigration countered that American inscription, said the words were not original to the monument.

Cuccinelli said, "I'm certainly not prepared to take anything down off the Statue of Liberty". Trump has denied using that language and said he wanted immigrants to come the United States from all nations. The distinctions don't matter to President Trump. "We're simply making effective what Congress had already put on the books, so there's no reason for any particular group to feel like this is targeting them", he said.

The "public charge" provision dates back at least to the Immigration Act of 1882.

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