Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Director of Citizenship and Immigration announced today that the United States will deny Green Cards to immigrants who depend on public assistance. Federal law already requires that those seeking a Green Card prove they will not be a burden to U.S. tax payers. The new rules are expected to save American tax payers $2.27 billion per year.
Before approving a Green Card the government wants to know how likely an immigrant is to become a “public charge” and receive benefits such as subsidized housing and food stamps. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers will now weigh public assistance along with other factors such as education, household income and health to determine whether to grant legal status. The new rules will be enforced starting in October.
Cuccinelli, said “Through the public charge rule President Trump’s administration is re-enforcing the ideal of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility ensuring that immigrants are able to support themselves and become successful in America, We want to see people coming to this country who are self-sufficient. That’s a core principle of the American dream. It’s deeply embedded in our history and particularly our history related to legal immigration.”
Guidelines since 1999 refer to “public charge” as someone primarily dependent on cash assistance, income maintenance or government support for long-term institutionalization. Under the new rules “public charge” will be defined as someone who is more likely than not to receive public benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period. Green card applicants will be required to submit three years of federal tax returns in addition to a history of employment.
Immigrant advocacy groups quickly opposed the new rules. The National Immigration Law Center said it intends to sue the Trump administration to halt the rule’s implementation.
Of course they did.
Why should American tax payers be financially responsible for for non-citizens immigrating into the United States? It should be a basic requirement of anyone who immigrates to America that they be able to provide for themselves and their families. The newly clarified public charge rules make sense. It’s logical that immigration officials look at an applicant’s history of being able to support themselves and their dependents as well as the future probably of being able to do so. President Trump just saved American tax payers $2.27 billion per year.
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