The Trump administration on Monday, Aug. 12, is moving forward with one of its hardest-hitting rules to limit legal immigration to the United States.
It is acting to ensure that noncitizens are self-sufficient and not a strain on public resources, according to a White House statement.
The new rule targeted those who entered the U.S. legally and are seeking permanent status. “They must support themselves, and not rely on public benefits,” said the White House statement.
Under the new regulation, the U.S. government could deny green cards to immigrants who use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers, or other forms of public assistance.
Immigrants who are on food stamps or other forms of public assistance could be denied green cards under new federal rules. The change is one of the Trump administration’s most aggressive moves to restrict legal immigration. https://t.co/9DEHcWKPf9
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) August 12, 2019
Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli announced that the new regulation “encourages and ensures self-reliance and self-sufficiency for those seeking to come to or to stay in the United States.”
“It will also help promote immigrant success in the United States as they seek opportunity here,” said Cuccinelli
U.S. federal law currently requires immigrants seeking green cards and legal status to prove they will not be a burden to the United States, or incurring a “public charge.”
Speaking at the press conference Cuccinelli said, “Public charge is now defined in a way that ensures the law is meaningfully enforced and that those who are subject to it are self-sufficient.”
Under the new regulation, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers will consider public assistance to include education, household income, and health to determine whether or not to grant legal status.
President Donald Trump said “to protect benefits for American citizens, immigrants must be financially self-sufficient,” in a White House statement issued on Aug. 12.
The latest immigration policy, as outlined in the White House statement, has a three-pronged aim.
President @realDonaldTrump is ensuring that non-citizens do not abuse American’s public benefits.
The Public Charge Rule will:
✅Protect public resources
✅Preserve the social safety net
This will protect U.S. taxpayers and uphold the rule of law! pic.twitter.com/k4K3IRLSjH
— Team Trump (@TeamTrump) August 12, 2019
One, to protect public resources and to ensure that “noncitizens in this country are self-sufficient.” This means those who want to enter or remain in the United States must support themselves financially, and not rely on public benefits,” said the White House statement.
Two, the new rule promotes self-sufficiency that is “a basic principle of our Nation’s immigration laws that has enjoyed widespread support,” according the White House statement.
The new rule would “also help promote immigrant success in the United States as they seek opportunity here,” said Cuccinelli.
“Throughout our history, self-reliance has been a core principle in America, the virtues of perseverance, hard work, self-sufficiency laid the foundation of our nation and have defined generations of immigrants seeking opportunity in the United States,” stated Cuccinelli.
Three, the latest immigration policy aims to preserve a social safety net. “We must ensure that noncitizens do not abuse our public benefit programs and jeopardize the social safety net needed by vulnerable Americans,” said the White House statement.
Cuccinelli said the new rule “will apply across the world” to everyone and “so there’s no reason for any particular group to feel like this is targeting them.”
The latest immigration rule was part of Trump administration’s strategy that focused on immigrants’ skills, instead of emphasizing family reunification.
The policy will start in mid-October. It does not apply to U.S. citizens, even if the U.S. citizen is related to an immigrant who is subjected to the new regulations.
Each year over 540,000 people apply for green cards. The new ruling, according to the U.S. government, will impact more than 380,000.