Jessie ----
by on May 4, 2019
Well it's about time. The Trump Administration has announced that it is considering reversing long-standing policy to make it easier to deport U.S. legal permanent residents who have used public benefits, part of an effort to restrict immigration by low-income people. The DOJ came up with a draft expands the category of people who could be subject to deportation on the grounds that they use benefits.
Under current rules, those legal permanent residents who are declared to be a "public charge," or primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, can be deported - but in practice, this is very rare.
The new regulation draft would use a more expansive definition to include some immigrants who have used an array of public benefits, including cash welfare, food stamps, housing aid, or Medicaid. Illegals should never have gotten benefits in the first place.
But as usual, this proposal would soon meet many lawsuits, once it was enforced, and signed.
Although all the details aren't know yet, it could also affect those immigrants with green cards.
As the result of a 1948 ruling, the deportation of immigrants for using public benefits has been strictly limited to cases in which the government has demanded payment for public services, and the person has failed to pay. With the new rule, the government would override that precedent to allow for deportation of some permanent residents who have used certain public benefits within five years of admission.
And for it to go into effect, there would first have to be public comment, and Attorney General William Barr would then have to sign off on it.
Now the benefits in question include, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), given to disabled and older people; the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps; Section 8 housing vouchers; many Medicaid benefits; and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a cash assistance programme.
So immigrants get a lifetime pass, while our homeless and vets get nothing.
Permanent residents only qualify for benefits if they have had a green card for five years, making it unlikely they could be targeted for deportation on the basis of "public charge" even under the draft rule. But as I've mentioned before, the states have looser rules, allowing pregnant women and children who are permanent residents to access Medicaid without a waiting period. No wonder the system is going broke.
The effort to tighten the rules could affect thousands of immigrant veterans, refugees and asylees, who are eligible to receive many benefits without time restrictions. Active members of the military would not be affected.
The DOJ's draft proposal is based on a similar plan by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to significantly broaden the definition of what it means to be a public charge. Meanwhile the DHS DHS is expected soon to tighten regulations so that a "public charge" would be any foreigner "who receives one or more public benefits," including an array of cash and non-cash benefits, such as food stamps, housing vouchers, and Medicaid.
The DOJ is also looking at requiring foreigners seeking permanent residency status to submit a declaration to an immigration judge that demonstrates their self-sufficiency. The form asks for a detailed listing of assets, income, and debts, among other information.
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