Posted by Emily Shugerman, New York | 8 August 2018 | 979 times
The Trump administration is reportedly planning to penalise immigrants to the who have applied for public benefits, in a major departure from current US practice that could affect millions of people.
The White House intends to issue a proposal in the coming weeks that would make it harder for immigrants to get a green card or become a citizen if they have used benefits like Obamacare, children's health insurance, or food stamps, according to NBC News.
The proposal is reportedly part of White House policy adviser Stephen Miller’s plan to reduce the number of immigrants eligible to stay permanently in the US. Experts estimated it could affect up to 20m immigrants.
The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that the administration was “committed to enforcing existing immigration law”. These laws, a department spokesperson added, were “clearly intended to protect the American taxpayer by ensuring that foreign nationals seeking to enter or remain in the US are self-sufficient”.
But immigration attorneys told The Independent that the proposal would be a huge departure from how immigration law is actually enforced.
Under current US statues, immigrants can have their green card or visa applications rejected if they are determined to be a “public charge" – someone who is likely to become dependent on the government for subsistence.
But two immigration attorneys – both of whom have worked in the field for more than 30 years – told The Independent they had never seen an application rejected over the use of government programmes. (UK Independent)
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