The Trump administration will be enforcing a public charge rule that will restrict legal immigrants of food stamps, Medicaid, housing assistance and denied green cards. The regulations on public charge requires immigrants to be “self-sufficient” upon entry into the U.S. 

Immigrants seeking to receive a green card will have to provide federal tax returns and history of employment. Having private insurance will help immigrants to receive a Green card, according to the Associated Press. 

“U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued a rule that encourages and ensures self-reliance and self-sufficiency for those seeking to come to or to stay in the United States, it will also help promote immigrant success in the United States as they seek opportunity here,” the acting director of Citizens and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli said. 

The rule will take effect in mid-October and will not affect U.S citizens. In 2017, more than 22.4 million people applied for a U.S visa program, according to Pew Research Center. Only legal permanent residents are eligible to receive governmental resources such as medicaid. A resident cannot receive these benefits after they have lived here for five years. In 2013, the non-citizens used less government assistance than U.S citizens did, according to the National Immigration Forum.

“A public charge is a term used by U.S immigration officials to refer to a person who is considered primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance or institutionalization for long-term care at government expense. Where this consideration applies, an immigrant who is found to be ‘likely . . . to become a public charge’  may be denied admission to the U.S. or lawful permanent resident status,” according to the National Immigration Law Center. 

 In 2015, another report from the Center for Immigration Studies found that roughly 51% of immigrant  households, legal or illegal, used at least one kind of welfare program during the year, compared to 30% of native households. Welfare programs included Medicaid and cash, food, and housing programs.

“Use of welfare programs by immigrants is important mainly for two reasons. First, it is one measure of their impact on American society,” the report read. “If immigrants have high use rates, it is an indication that they are creating a significant burden on public coffers.”

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus provided a statement on the public charge rule stating: 

“The Administration is trying to portray this public charge rule as a way to enforce ‘self-sufficiency’ on immigrants and prevent them from becoming a ‘burden’ on our country. The fact is that immigrant families are not a burden on the United Sates – their hard work and sacrifices built out country.” 

Through the public charge regulation, the proposal will provide immigrant officers a longer list of publicly-funded programs to now be considered whether or not someone will be a public charge and inadmissible for a green card, according to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. 

The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) announced Monday they will be filing a lawsuit against the Trump administration’s Public Charge regulation. 

“The rule, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), expands on a century-old practice of penalizing immigrant families who sometimes struggle to make ends meet. It is a cornerstone of the administration’s attempts to redefine our legal immigration system in order to disenfranchise communities of color and favor the wealthy,” NILC statement. 

WHAT THE LEFT IS SAYING: Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell tweeted, “This is another cruel attempt by this President to rip away basic needs like health care, housing & food from families & children. The #PublicCharge rule tells families that if you’re not white & wealthy, you’re not welcome here.”

Former Obama White House Cabinet Secretary, Deputy of Labor Secretary, Chris Lu tweeted, “Let’s be clear: Trump’s new #PublicCharge rule punishes immigrants who are in the country LEGALLY and use govt benefits to feed, house, or obtain medical care for their children who are U.S. CITIZENS. This isn’t just harmful for these families, but it undermines communities.”

WHAT THE RIGHT IS SAYING: “To protect benefits for American citizens, immigrants must be financially self-sufficient,” President Trump said. 

“HUGE: @realDonaldTrump‘s new immigration rule banning welfare-dependent migration will save Americans 57.4 BILLION dollars every year! EVERY 2020 Democrat will reverse this rule We cannot let them take back the White House and reverse this massive tax break,” Conservative activist and founder of Turning Point USA, Charlie Kirk tweeted. 

Written ByMaydeen Merino

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