The rule means many green card and visa applicants could be turned down if they have low incomes or little education, and have used benefits such as most forms of Medicaid, food stamps, and housing vouchers, because they'd be deemed more likely to need government assistance in the future. It is used as a basis for admissibility into the US and as a determining factor when someone is trying to adjust their immigration status to obtain legal permanent residency.
Green card holders are generally barred from using numerous programs during the first five years they live in the USA, with some exceptions. The Trump administration has been seeking to limit those immigrants who might draw on taxpayer-funded benefits, such as many of those who have been fleeing Central America, while allowing more highly skilled and wealthy immigrants into the United States. "The Trump Administration deserves credit for protecting American taxpayers' interests first and foremost with these rules, which are entirely consistent with a more merit-based, economy-driven US immigration system", said Ken Oliver, an immigration expert at Texas Public Policy Foundation, in a statement.
The Los Angeles-based National Immigration Law Center immediately vowed to file a lawsuit challenging the changes that take effect in October.
A July 2019 Urban Institute study found that almost one in seven adults in immigrant families reported that they or a family member did not participate in a non-cash government benefit program in 2018 because they didn't want to risk their ability to get a green card as the administration considered this new rule.
AOC Blasts McConnell Over 'Team Mitch' Groping and Choking Cutout of Her
It's the second time since last weekend McConnell has received negative criticism to a social media post. McConnell's "Team Mitch" campaign yard signs were scattered among the tombstones.
Cuccinelli said Monday that USCIS had not determined a specific dollar-amount figure of what the potential benefit of this rule is to taxpayers. It determines that whether an alien is applying for admission or adjustment of status is inadmissible to the country because he or she is likely at any time to become a public charge for availing public assistance schemes like food stamp, Medicaid or housing assistance.
Factors that can count against a green card applicant include having "a medical condition" that will interfere with work or school; not having enough money to cover "any reasonably foreseeable medical costs" related to such a medical condition; having "financial liabilities;" having been approved to receive a public benefit, even if the individual has not actually received the benefit; having a low credit score; the absence of private health insurance; the absence of a college degree; not having the English language skills "sufficient to enter the job market;" or having a sponsor who is "unlikely" to provide financial support. The new rule was issued by the Department of Homeland Security specifying that green cards - legal permanent residency - would be denied if those seeking it can not convince the consular officer that they will never use programs that the U.S. government doles out for its citizens.
In a study last month, the Urban Institute said the new regulations, when proposed a year ago, were already driving immigrant families to curtail their use of public services.
In May, Trump announced a broad plan for immigration "that protects American wages, promotes American values, and attracts the best and brightest from all around the world".
Cuccinelli said no particular group should feel targeted by the measure.