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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Trump chases public burden immigrants

Por MRod

The Trump administration is weighing new rules that could make it difficult for foreigners who have received public benefits from getting permanent residency in the U.S. Thus, he continues his policy of “sweeping” America and leave it only for Americans. The draft measures go deep on the concept behind “public charge” and would affect immigrants to a great extent.

Trump, who has a tough stance on illegal immigration and made it one of the purposes of the 2016 presidential campaign, has also targeted legal immigrants in recent months. He, for instance, has advocated ending a visa lottery program and some kinds of family-based immigration. Even so, many of the administration’s proposals would require congressional passing, but one wonders if all of his dreams might begin to become true.

It is known that new rules are being drafted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and would let officials look at certain taxpayer-funded public benefits to decide if a potential immigrant should be eligible to immigrate to the U.S., as Reuters reported. It’s a matter of deciding how much of a burden the newcomers might turn to. According to Reuters, the text reads: “An alien’s receipt of public benefits comes at taxpayer expense and availability of public benefits may provide an incentive for aliens to immigrate to the United States.”

Not that the use of the word ‘alien’ makes it more digestive. It simply could include whether a person has gotten subsidies for health insurance or enrolled a child in government pre-school programs. That is, “non-citizens who receive public benefits are not self-sufficient and are relying on the U.S. government and state and local entities for resources instead of their families, sponsors or private organizations”. So much for America to be great again.

In an effort to counterattack possible haters of the new measures, Tyler Houlton, a DHS spokesman, said the Trump administration is "committed to enforcing existing immigration law, which is clearly intended to protect the American taxpayer." “Any potential changes to the rule would be in keeping with the letter and spirit of the law – as well as the reasonable expectations of the American people for the government to be good stewards of taxpayer funds”. In other words, immigration officials are told that a person who is likely to become a "public charge" should not receive permanent residency. That is defined as a person who is "primarily dependent on the government for subsistence."

The draft rules go for a quite distanced path from the current guidelines, which have been in place since 1999 and specifically bar authorities from considering such non-cash benefits in deciding a person’s eligibility to immigrate to the United States or stay in the country. Complete nonsense, one might say. This all means that assistance in the form of aid, services, or other kinds of reliefs would be looked at as a "public charge." If you ever believe America has room for all of us, think twice now.