Likely need for public aid could keep migrants out


People call words of encouragement up to people held inside the Metropolitan Detention Center after marching to decry Trump administration immigration and refugee policies on June 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. In the late 19 and early 20 centuries public charge was the most common ground for refusing admission at USA ports of entry.

United States considers restrictions on green cards for immigrants receiving public benefits The Trump administration may deny green cards to legal immigrants, both living in the U.S. or just seeking to enter, if they have been dependent on certain public benefits, like housing vouchers, Medicaid or food stamps. They also believe the rule could negatively affect public health by dissuading immigrants from using health or food aid to which they or their children are entitled. It is reported Politico, citing a document of the Department of homeland security.

According to the rule, foreign immigrants who "seek adjustment of status or a visa, or who are applicants for admission, must establish that they are not likely at any time to become a public charge" unless determined by Congress. It would have little or no bearing on immigrants who entered the country illegally, but it could weigh on the cases of the more than 600,000 with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival benefits if they file for permanent residency.

Contrary to past assurances that the government was only weeding out illegal immigration, this policy targets those attempting to function in the United States legally, possibly forcing some to break the law just to survive.

The percentages of native-born Americans who get the same forms of assistance are almost identical.

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As for native-born Americans who get the same forms of assistance, the Post says, "In 2015, 3.4 percent of 270 million nonimmigrant Americans received cash welfare payments, USCIS research found, and 22.1 percent received noncash subsidies".

Immigration rights groups condemned the proposal.

President Donald Trump has disparaged such a system for facilitating what he calls "horrible chain migration" and wants to replace it with a more selective approach based on job skills.

The new rule is aimed at ensuring that "the availability of public benefits [does] not constitute an incentive for immigration to the United States" and to encourage "self-sufficiency", and is based on the notion that offering assistance to families who arrive in the USA will cause a drain on the economy. The proposal would also allow some of those who are facing rejection to post cash bonds of $10,000 or more, and the bonds would have to be provided through a government-approved company.

The Trump administration's proposal is a sharp departure from current guidelines, which have been in place since 1999 and specifically bar authorities from considering such non-cash benefits in deciding a person's eligibility to immigrate to the United States or stay in the country.