President Trump is signed a memorandum on Thursday that will enforce a 23-year-old provision that requires legal immigrant sponsors in the U.S. to reimburse the government for any social services such as Medicaid or immigrant welfare, Fox News has learned.

The provision formed part of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) and the laws on welfare reform signed by then-President Bill Clinton, but the rule has not been enforced despite being enshrined in federal law.

Under the clause, each potential immigrant applicant would need to register an affidavit that would outline the endorsed immigrant’s economic obligations and establish a collection system to retrieve sponsor resources. The Health and Human Services Department collects information from promoters and foreigners, while the Treasury Department collects the resources.

The move – portion of the president’s campaign for a merit-based immigration scheme – is intended to create the applicant sponsoring individual accountable for any medical or monetary advantages that the applicant gets.

The proposal would judge immigrants with a point-based system in favor of highly skilled workers— accounting for age, English skills, education, and whether the applicant has a well-paid job offer.

Only about 12% of newcomers are currently accepted on the basis of jobs and abilities, while 66% are accepted on the basis of family links within the U.S., authorities said. Officials in the administration projected that, under the Trump scheme, those figures would shift to 57 and 33 percent respectively.

The scheme would not negotiate illegally with those already in the nation, including those who went as kids to the U.S. and were shielded under an executive order issued by President Obama at the time. Trump said it would close loopholes to make gang leaders and criminals inadmissible and prevent frivolous demands for asylum.

“For criminals already here, we will ensure their swift deportation,” he said.

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