Tougher Path to Citizenship 🗽

 Kara Bettis / New Boston Post

Kara Bettis / New Boston Post

On welfare? No citizenship

This week, reports have surfaced that the Trump administration is planning to issue a proposal that will make it harder for legal immigrants to become citizens or permanent residents. The move will target immigrants who have used any form of public welfare, including purchasing health insurance on the Obamacare marketplace.

 

Immigrants, a 'public charge’?

The proposal is allegedly the brainchild of senior advisor Stephen Miller - a hardliner on curbing immigration. Under the current policy, an immigrant is deemed a 'public charge' – someone dependent on the government for subsistence – if they have ever used cash welfare programs. The new proposal will broaden the definition of 'public charge' to include non-cash welfare programs such as healthcare, housing, and education benefits.



The right asserts that immigrants are a burden on the American taxpayer. They cite studies that claim legal immigrants use welfare at a higher percentage than natives. In addition, they allege that the administration is only enforcing existing immigration law: green card applicants who benefit from cash welfare can be deemed ineligible to adjust their permanent residency status. Furthermore, they contend that the move is intended to protect the American taxpayer. 

The left argues that this proposal by the Trump administration is political and serves to excite the Republican base prior to the midterm elections. They contend that many of Trump’s supporters believe that immigrants have cost them jobs, wages, and taxes. They also cite studies that claim legal immigration has resulted in higher wages, great productivity, and lower prices for certain goods and services.

Contradictory studies on immigration

Each side here is using "studies" to support their pro or anti-immigrant narrative. The right uses a report that claims immigrants are a burden to the American taxpayer. This study was conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies - a think-tank labeled as anti-immigration by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The left uses a study that claims 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants are some of the strongest economic contributors to the US. This study was conducted by NASEM, the collective scientific national academy of the US. When faced with two 'scientific studies' how do we know which one to believe??

When you just don't know


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