The Trump administration is moving to fulfill another of President Trump’s campaign promises by implementing more restrictions on legal immigration by deporting green-card holders who rely too heavily on federal government programs like food stamps. According to the Associate Press, the Department of Homeland Security published a 447-page proposal on Saturday outlining its plans to expand restrictions that would disqualify legal immigrants from obtaining a green card if they rely too heavily on Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers and other forms of public assistance. According to US law, applicants must prove they won’t become a “public charge” – that they wouldn’t derive more than half their income from government programs – to achieve green-card status. Under the proposal, the federal government would begin factoring in non-monetary benefits like food stamps and Section 8 housing benefits.
The rule would also require public officials to take into account factors like mental health issues, cancer and heart disease, since all these factors could increase the likelihood of a person becoming a public charge.
According to the Department of Homeland Security proposal, current and past receipt of certain public benefits above an expanded threshold would be “a heavily weighed negative factor” in granting green cards, as well as temporary visas. The proposal has yet to be entered into the Federal Register – but it will be entered into it at some point during “the coming weeks”, at which point a 60-day comment period will begin.