Trump Administration announced yesterday that they will be enforcing a new rule to combat abuse of the SNAP program by routing out those who are on too many government assistance programs from getting a green card.
According to a report from ABC News, The Trump administration announced Monday that it is moving ahead with one of its most aggressive steps to restrict legal immigration, denying green cards to many immigrants who use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance.
Federal law already requires those seeking green cards and legal status to prove they will not be a burden to the U.S. — a “public charge” —but the new rules detail a broader range of programs that could disqualify them.
Much of President Donald Trump’s effort to crack down on illegal immigration has been in the spotlight, but this rule change targets people who entered the United States legally and are seeking permanent status. It’s part of a push to move the U.S. to a system that focuses on immigrants’ skills instead of emphasizing the reunification of families.
But the exclusion of “public charges” didn’t start in the 19th century, but well before that, when immigration law was handled by the states. In fact, preventing the immigration of people who couldn’t support themselves was the subject of the very first immigration law ever passed in the colonies, in Massachusetts Bay in 1645.
It’s not too much to say that the public-charge doctrine is the founding principle of American immigration policy. So those arguing for the admission of foreigners (other than refugees) who can’t earn enough to feed their own children without taxpayer subsidies are arguing for a radical break with 400 years of practice.
The second point involves a more recent issue. In 1996 Congress passed welfare-reform and immigration laws that sought to put more teeth in the existing public-charge rules.
These measures had no lasting impact on the share of immigrants using welfare; within five years, the rate of immigration welfare use was right back where it had been before the changes.
Today, some 63 percent of households headed by non-citizens use at least one welfare program, including an astonishing 80 percent of non-citizen households with children.
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