Legal Immigrants – The Next Target For Trump Administration?

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2017

U.S. Prez Donald Trump’s administration introduced a new rule that could deny people visas just because they are too poor!

The rule seeks to restrict permanent residency to hundreds of thousands of people just for their poverty. Trump’s aide on immigration, Stephen Miller is proposing this policy that would ultimately reject applicants based on their low income standards or those depending on welfare, food stamps, etc.


It ensures that accepted immigrants “are self-sufficient,” and do not depend on public resources, highlighted by the blatant notice published in the Federal Register.

Expect this 837-page rule targeting the legal immigration system to be the most drastic measure from the Prez. Advocates for new immigrants have pointed out that the government wants to cut legal immigration without having to change US law.

Most immigrants are already exempted from major aid programs until they secure green cards. However, the new rule announced by the Department of Homeland Security now easily disqualifies more people having expanded on the original interpretation of “public charge.”

The new rule defines public charge for immigrants who receive public benefits for 12+ months within a 3-year period. The purview of the rule will include cash aide in the form of

  • Supplemental Security Income
  • Temporary Assistance
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid (most forms)
  • Public housing programs

The regulation excludes benefits granted to individuals who have served in the armed forces, and also benefits received by their spouses and children. Admission officers will assess age, health, family status, education, assets, and financial status of applicants thoroughly before granting them immigrant status.

The Migration Policy Institute, a research organization, revealed that nearly half of family-based green card applicants would come under the purview of the rule and could be denied immigration. Critics have already criticized the rule to limit legal immigration for people belonging to low income groups as it counters the nation’s ideals of inclusion and aid for growth. The State Department has already tweaked the foreign affairs manual early last year rendering wider discretion to diplomats while deciding visa denials which led to quadruple denials last year compared to 2017.

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