Cutting Green Cards for those on Welfare 💸

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

New rules

On Friday, the Trump administration announced a new proposal called “Inadmissibility on Public Charge”. It allows officials to refuse green cards to people who are deemed potential “public charges” due to the use of public benefits.

What is a public charge?

For over 100 years, the US government has blocked immigrants from staying in the US if they are likely to become a “public charge”, a person who relies on the government to survive. In 1999, the Clinton administration defined public charges as individuals that depended on the government for cash assistance benefits. This allowed immigrants to apply for noncash benefits like food stamps and Medicaid without worry. The Trump administration’s proposal will expand the definition to include those non-cash programs.


Slate: White House Wants to Deny Green Cards to Immigrants Who Receive Public Benefits

ThinkProgress: Trump’s dramatic new plan to label immigrants a ‘public charge,’ explained

The left sees this proposal as a part of Trump's effort to cut legal immigration. They quote the immigration advocates for calling it “another cruel step” in the Trump's plan to “kick immigrants out of our country”. The left highlights the potential negative impact on 20 million children born in the US whose parents may opt out of public benefits due to the proposal.


Washington Times: DHS proposes limits on welfare payments to immigrants

Breitbart: Trump Reform Denies Green Cards To People Who Expect Taxpayer Aid

The right applauds the new proposal for ensuring that immigrants are “self-sufficient”. They highlight that the proposal is estimated to save the government “$20 billion over the next decade”. They believe that the proposal will “reduce the inflow of unskilled labor” which would “nudge up wages for unskilled Americans and prior immigrants”.

Should immigrants have limited benefits?

The proposal may address some people’s concerns about admitting immigrants that would tax the welfare system. However, things get messy when you consider the ruling also impacts the immigrant family that has fallen on hard times and US children with immigrant parents. With the recent batch of immigration-related news, Trump is remaking the US immigration system in his image. 

The classic argument



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