World News

Trump Administration Makes it Easier to Deny Gov't Assistance for Immigrants

Trump Administration Makes it Easier to Deny Gov't Assistance for Immigrants

The rule will be dated August 14 in the Federal Register and will go into effect 60 days later.

Immigrant rights groups are blasting the Trump administration's new rules that could deny green cards to immigrants if they use forms of public assistance like food stamps or Medicaid.

This rule affects people applying for green cards as well as people who immigrate to America legally.

The Trump administration will broaden the public charge definition to encompass not just those primarily dependent on public assistance programs, but anyone who uses a public benefit, including publicly funded health care programs including Medicaid, food stamps, other nutrition-related programs, or housing assistance.

Advocates say the efforts will scare immigrants into not asking for help and worry the rules will be applied too broadly.

"However", Cuccinelli said, "Congress has never defined the term "public charge" in the law and that term hadn't been clearly defined by regulation".

The Trump administration has pushed aggressively against undocumented immigrants arguing it favours legal immigration, which it has sought to overhaul at the same time to protect local Americans from being displaced, under the overarching vision laid out by the president, "Buy American, Hire Americans".

More news: Hong Kong airport suspends check-ins due to pro-democracy protest

The New York mayor's Office and immigration think tanks say just the anticipation of that provision already has caused large numbers of legal immigrants to abstain from seeking help through such programs - despite being legally entitled to do so - because they are afraid it will hinder their ability to become citizens or remain in the United States.

Immigration officials, under the change, could also take into account an applicant's financial resources, health, education, skills, family status and age. Foreign nationals will be barred from entering the United States if they are found likely to become public charges.

Federal law already requires people seeking green cards to prove they will not be a burden, or what's called a "public charge".

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli commented on the new rules, stating, "It's a core principle - the American Dream itself - and it's one of the things that distinguishes us, and it's central to the legal history in the U.S. back into the 1800s".

Immigration advocates expect the rule to draw an immediate flurry of lawsuits.

The H-1B short term non-immigrant visa programme, that allows U.S. employers to hire foreigners either from overseas or those enrolled in American institutions of higher learning, had come harsh scrutiny over allegations its being abused and misused to replace Americans with less expensive foreigners, mostly from India. "Through the public charge rule, President Trump's administration is enforcing the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility".

A response was awaited to from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which will be the DHS agency using the new rule, about official estimates.


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