Trump Admin. to Make It Harder for Low-Income Immigrants to Stay

Green card applicants who spent a year on Medicaid, for instance, could be denied under the new rule unveiled Monday

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AP

What to Know

  • The rule change is one of the most aggressive efforts by the Trump administration to restrict legal immigration
  • 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
  • The rules will take effect in mid-October

The Trump administration introduced a new rule Monday making it harder for low-income immigrants who receive food stamps or other forms of taxpayer-funded assistance to stay in the country legally, NBC News reports.

The rule would require immigrants applying for a change in immigration status (like a green card) or those seeking to come here to prove that they are unlikely to ever need public assistance, and can bar immigrants who had received assistance above a certain threshold from being approved.

Pressed on whether or not the rule would undermine the words emblazoned on a plaque at the Statue of Liberty — "give me your tired, your poor" — acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli disagreed.

"This rule will cover, for USCIS, almost 400,000 a year whose applications to become legal permanent residents will include a meaningful analysis of whether they're likely to become a public charge or not. I do not think by any means we're ready to take anything off the Statue of Liberty," he said.

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