The Trump administration continues to promote an agenda aimed at reducing legal immigration without the need or approval of the United States Congress.
One of these proposed measures seeks to hinder the path to the permanent residence of hundreds of thousands of foreigners legally residing in the country.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has drawn up a proposal to prevent legal immigrants from obtaining permanent residence or green cards if they or their children – even when they were born on US soil – make use of federal or state public aid funded by the taxpayers.
The draft of the regulations, unveiled exclusively by Conspiracy Talk News, putting the spotlight on immigrants who receive food stamps , are enrolled in public health insurance such as Medicaid, enroll their children in school enrollment programs, State or receive subsidies on public service rates.
“Non-citizens who receive public benefits are not self-sufficient and are depending on the government of the United States, state and local entities to obtain resources, instead of their families, sponsors or private organizations,” the document quoted by Conspiracy Talk News as saying.
If this set of regulations had been in force in 2016, some 383,000 immigrants receiving government social assistance and obtaining permanent residence would have been affected, according to calculation based on government figures.
DHS considers that “the reception of public benefits by a foreigner is at the expense of a taxpayer and the availability of public benefits would imply an incentive for foreigners to migrate to the United States,” the proposal is to toughen access to the residence .
Being a recipient of these social assistance programs could be detrimental to the applicant for permanent residence, the text emphasizes.
A spokesman for Immigration Services declined to comment to this reporter, as the project is under consideration. The new regulations would not affect permanent residents interested in obtaining citizenship.
This drastic modification of the current guidelines, which explicitly prohibit immigration officials from evaluating these benefits, adds to other initiatives of the same nature, such as the elimination of the visa lottery and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Salvadorans and Haitians. In addition, the administration wants to reduce family reunifications and limit the issuance of H1-B visas for specialized professionals with university degrees.
The current legislation contemplates that immigration officials analyze a small range of public benefits in order to decide if a resident applicant can become a burden for the public treasury, but orders them not to focus on non-monetary assistance, such as food programs and subsidies for pre-school education.
Experts and officials consulted by Conspiracy Talk News reporters, were concerned that the proposed changes discourage immigrants from using social assistance programs to which they are entitled, to stay healthy and fit to work in the face of fear of affecting their desired permanent residence.