Trump Administration's "public charge" rule keeps illegal aliens from abusing taxpayer-funded medical care

Article subtitle: 
Medical Groups Raise Outcry Over New Immigration Rule
Article CAIRCO note: 
This rule should have been implemented two months into the Trump administration
Article publisher: 
Medpage today
Article date: 
17 August 2019
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

The Trump Administration's new "public charge" rule released Monday could keep noncitizen immigrants from seeking necessary medical care, according to healthcare experts.

Under the rule (clocking in at 837 pages), immigrants' [and presumably illegal aliens'] financial status and past use of public assistance programs will be taken into account in deciding whether to approve applications for permanent residency ("green cards") and visa renewals. Those with low incomes or little education, and who have used benefits such as Medicaid, food stamps, and housing vouchers, may be turned down because they'd be seen as more likely to need future government assistance....

"Today's changes to how 'public charges' are classified will discourage noncitizen immigrants from seeking the care and other services they need and to which they are legally entitled," said David Skorton, MD, president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges in a press release....


Advocates already see fallout from immigration rule change, Denver Post, August 18, 2019:

... President Donald Trump’s administration trumpeted its aggressive approach this past week as a way to keep only self-sufficient immigrants in the country, but health experts argue it could force potentially millions of low-income migrants [presumably illegal aliens] to choose between needed services and their bid to stay legally in the U.S....

[Legal] Immigrants who want permanent legal status, commonly called a green card, have long been required to prove they won’t be “a public charge.” The Trump administration announced Monday that would redefine the term to mean those who are “more likely than not” to receive public benefits over a certain period. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will also now consider other factors, including income, education and English proficiency....

Roughly 544,000 people apply for green cards annually, with about 382,000 falling into categories that would be subject to the new review, according to the government....

Spare the Angst Over the ‘Public Charge’ Rule, Rachel Bovard, American Greatness, August 17, 2019:

The notion of admitting immigrants who can become self-sufficient, contributing members of American society is a foundational principle of our immigration law, dating back to 1645 when the colony of Massachusetts passed a law to prohibit the admission of paupers. The principle was later formalized at the federal level in the Immigration Act of 1882, which banned entry to immigrants who would be relying solely on American taxpayers for their welfare.
The definition was updated in the Immigration Control and Financial Responsibility Act of 1996, which required that federal officials consider “age, health, family status, assets, resources, and financial status; and education and skills” when evaluating whether to grant a green card.
Specifically, the 1996 law—which at the time was supported by Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Steny Hoyer, Dianne Feinstein, Dick Durbin, Joe Biden, and Patrick Leahy, among others—made clear that “any alien, at the time of application for a visa . . . is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible.”
The Trump Administration’s new regulation does not create new law. It simply updates the 1996 statutory definition with a more modern definition of what constitutes a welfare benefit—including food stamps, Medicaid, and public housing assistance....
And the rule would only apply to the approximately 400,000 legal immigrants seeking a green card each year....


If illegal aliens can not medicate and educate at American taxpayer expense, they will return home to reunite with their families.