On Monday, the Trump administration announced plans to implement a policy which would give the federal government more power in denying green cards to immigrants it deems would likely rely on federal aid and welfare programs.
“The principle driving it is an old American value, and that’s self-sufficiency,” USCIS Acting-Director Ken Cuccinelli said of the “public charge” rule in an interview with Fox News. “It’s a core principle -- the American Dream itself -- and it’s one of the things that distinguishes us, and it's central to the legal history in the U.S. back into the 1800s.”
Though public charge has long been a part of the immigration system, the newest rules “detail a broader range of programs that could disqualify them,” says the LA Times.
The new rule, which will go into effect in October, will define “public charge” as an immigrant who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period.
Those benefits include Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), as well as most forms of Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) -- commonly known as food stamps. The rule expands the number of benefits that can be considered from interim guidance issued in 1999.
This newest restriction by the Trump Administration -- this time on legal immigration -- is just another push the President has made to shift the immigration admittance system to one that more highly values the merits and skill-sets of those being admitted to the country.