The Trump administration is planning to roll out a new rule rejecting green cards for immigrants on food stamps and other public aid

Associated Press/Evan VucciPresident Donald Trump talking to reporters Friday in Washington.
  • The Trump administration on Monday announced a new “public charge” rule expanding the government’s ability to reject green cards for immigrants using or deemed likely to use public assistance.
  • It’s a long-expected policy shift likely to slow the amount of legal immigration to the United States.
  • Set to take effect in mid-October, the new rule would allow the government to consider more factors before granting permanent residency or a temporary visa to an immigrant.
  • Among the factors are the use of government benefits, along with education and household income.
  • But the new rule has drawn extensive criticism from immigration advocates.
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The Trump administration on Monday announced a new “public charge” rule expanding the government’s ability to reject green cards for immigrants using or deemed likely to use food stamps, housing vouchers, Medicaid, and other forms of public assistance.

It’s a long-expected policy shift likely to slow the amount of legal immigration to the United States.

Set to take effect in mid-October, the new rule would allow the government to consider more factors before granting permanent residency or a temporary visa to immigrants, such as their use of government benefits as well as their education and household income.

Current federal law considers only whether immigrants draw over half their income from cash benefits in programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.


Read more:
Trump administration may target immigrants who use food aid and other benefits

US Citizenship and Immigration Services’ acting director, Ken Cuccinelli, said at a White House press conference that the rule was “reinforcing the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility, ensuring that immigrants are able to support themselves and become successful here in America.”

But the new rule has drawn extensive criticism from immigration advocates. There’s also concern that the rules could negatively affect the lives of children who are US citizens, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The National Immigration Law Center has announced its intent to legally challenge the new rule.

“It will have a dire humanitarian impact, forcing some families to forego critical life-saving health care and nutrition,” the organisation’s executive director, Marielena Hincapie√©, said in a press release. “The damage will be felt for decades to come.”

Even though the rule had been proposed in October, the debate around it may already be having a chilling effect on immigrant communities. A study released by the Urban Institute in May found that one in seven – or 13.7% – of adults in immigrant families did not seek aid from a noncash benefit program for fear of imperiling their chances at receiving a green card.

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