Tuesday, August 13, 2019

GREAT NEWS: Trump Administration to Deny Green Cards to Legal Immigrants Who Draw From Social Programs

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News
Rule would also block prospective immigrants who can’t convince consular officers they won’t seek such assistance
Immigrants legally in the U.S. could be ineligible for green cards if they use any of an array of social programs, and prospective immigrants may be barred from entry if they can’t convince a consular officer that they won’t use such programs, as part of a final rule released by the Trump administration.
The rule, issued by the Department of Homeland Security on Monday, is one of the most ambitious and sweeping elements of the Trump administration’s immigration policy, according to administration officials as well as immigrant-rights advocates opposed to the change.
The administration was all but guaranteeing fresh criticism from immigration groups for opting to push ahead in the wake of a shooting in El Paso, Texas, that was apparently motivated by anti-immigrant animus. Similar sentiments were expressed after Immigration and Customs Enforcement carried out raids on food processing plants in Mississippi last week.
The rule change tightens the definition of who is likely to become a “public charge” under immigration law, a designation that prevents an immigrant from obtaining legal permanent residence, and which is also used by the Justice and State departments to determine which noncitizens can be removed from the country or prevented from ever entering.
Use or potential use of a benefits program such as Medicaid, some types of housing assistance or food stamps could now disqualify an applicant, including around 900,000 immigrants currently in the U.S.
“Through the public charge rule, President Trump’s administration is reinforcing the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility,” Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told reporters at the White House.
Mr. Cuccinelli said the new rule will go into effect in mid-October and won’t apply retroactively, so previous receipt of government benefits won’t negatively affect immigrants’ status. In addition, use of several other benefits won’t disqualify applicants, including school lunch programs, homeless shelters and food pantries. The rule doesn’t affect humanitarian-based programs for refugees and asylum seekers.
Immigration officials will consider the “totality of circumstances” when determining whether to deny green cards or bar prospect immigrants from entry, Mr. Cuccinelli said, adding that reliance on government benefits will be just one factor under consideration.
Read the rest from the WSJ HERE and follow links below to related stories/opinions"

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