Jessie ----
by on September 22, 2018
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And I say it's about time. Today, President Trump's Administration said it would propose making it harder for foreigners to come to the United States or remain there if they have received or are likely to receive public benefits such as food aid, public housing or Medicaid. He's right, why should taxpayers have to support these people, when it's all they can do to afford to support themselves and their families?
This new regulation comes from the DHS, and would expand immigration officers' ability to deny visas or legal permanent residency to aspiring immigrants if they have received a range of taxpayer-funded benefits to which they are legally entitled, such as Medicaid, the Medicare Part D low-income subsidy, Section 8 housing vouchers and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is commonly known as food stamps.
What many don't know is that our current law says no one can have permanent residency, if they become a public charge, but through the years our politicians have relaxed the definition as to what "public charge" really means. Trump wants to change all of that.
The last enacted regulation was in 1999, but Trump's new changes would 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. The changes would apply to those seeking visas or legal permanent residency but not people applying for U.S. citizenship.
Current long standing federal law states those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially. The new change would signal to immigrants, that they aren't allowed to become a burden to taxpayers. Should a foreigner is receiving one or more of the public benefits laid out in the proposal when they apply for a visa or residency, that would be a heavily weighed negative factor in their determining their eligibility to come to or remain in the United States.
Otherwise if an immigrant is deemed inadmissible because of the new rule, they might be eligible to post a bond, no less than $10,000, to come into the United States.
The good thing about this is, that President Trump doesn't need the approval of congress for this to be so.
The proposed regulation will be published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks. There will also be 60 days for the public to comment.
The agency must consider all comments and could change the regulation before the final version is adopted, likely not for at least several months.
This could possibly affect more than 382,000 people per year who obtain permanent residence while already in the United States. Also hundreds of thousands of people living abroad obtain U.S. permanent residence each year through the State Department, which would likely change its own regulations to match those of DHS when the proposal becomes final.
Of course the left, and many immigrant advocate groups are crying foul. They argue that it is an effort to cut legal immigration without going through Congress to change U.S. law. 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.
But the proposal won't penalize immigrants for using home heating aid; the widely used earned-income tax credit; WIC, a federal program that feeds poor pregnant or nursing women and their children; and Head Start, which provides early education to low-income children. Previous versions of the rule would have penalized immigrants for using those benefits.
The regulation also would consider only the use of certain benefits by the individual applicant, and not their dependents, including U.S. citizen children. Previous versions of the regulation would have taken into account the use of benefits by an applicant's children, even those born in the United States, which immigrant advocates said would force people to pull their children out of needed health and food programs.
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