Put forth by the Trump administration there will be limited access in entering the U.S. for immigrants who use or are likely to use public assistance.
The Department of Homeland Security under a new proposal announced this Saturday that any immigrant that uses or is likely to use either housing vouchers, food subsidies or any other “non-cash” forms of public assistance will be subjected to making it much more difficult to stay or enter the United States. President Trump has criticized the system for making it easy for immigrants to enter the U.S. and wants to replace it with a more selective approach based on job skills.
Although there have always been U.S. immigration laws limiting foreigners to become dependent on financial aid. These proposed changes lead to a greater control of the government’s ability to reject visas or residency to immigrants.
In a statement by Kirstjen Nielson the secretary of Homeland Security, “Under long-standing federal law, those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially. Also adding that the proposed changes would “promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers.”
The Department of Homeland Security will publish the proposal in the Federal Register and following will implement a 60-day public comment period. The agency said, “after DHS carefully considers public comments received on the proposed rule, DHS plans to issue a final public charge rule that will include an effective date.”
Many immigrant advocates argue that the change in the proposal will force families to not seek help to avoid risking their immigration status. Diane Yental, president of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition commented, “The last thing the federal government should do is punish families that have fallen on hard times for feeding their children or keeping a roof over their heads and avoiding homelessness.” The agency estimates that about 382,000 immigrants per year would be subject to a more extensive review of their use of public benefits and potentially denied residency.
The changes in the proposal would have little to no effect on immigrants who entered the country illegally, but it could weigh on the cases of the more than 600,000 with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) benefits if they file for permanent residency.
The 447-page proposal will contain changes that would primarily apply to those seeking admission to the U.S. or foreigners who attempt to apply for some form of residency status. Only certain groups including refugees or those with special immigrant visas, and green card holders who apply to naturalize as U.S. citizens will not be subject to the proposed changes.