Why Trump administration tightens access to green cards

Article subtitle: 
The White House announced new restrictions in order to limit the number of legal migrants on government assistance.
Article CAIRCO note: 
AP addition: Attorneys general, including CO Weiser, sue over public benefit immigration rule.
Article author: 
Colleen Long and Jill Colvin
Article publisher: 
Associated Press and CS Monitor
Article date: 
15 August 2019
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

The Trump administration announced Monday it is moving forward with one of its most aggressive steps yet to restrict legal immigration: denying green cards to many migrants who use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers, or other forms of public assistance.

Federal law already requires those seeking to become permanent residents or gain legal status to prove they will not be a burden to the United States – a "public charge," in government speak – but the new rules detail a broader range of programs that could disqualify them.

It's part of a dramatic overhaul of the nation's immigration system that the administration has been working to put in place, despite legal pushback...

Mr. Trump is trying to move the U.S. toward a system that focuses on immigrants' skills instead of emphasizing the reunification of families.

Under the new rules, the Department of Homeland Security has redefined a public charge as someone who is "more likely than not" to receive public benefits for more than 12 months within a 36-month period. If someone uses two benefits, that is counted as two months. And the definition has been broadened to include Medicaid, housing assistance, and food assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP ...

Active U.S. military members are also exempt, as are refugees and asylum seekers. And the rules will not be applied retroactively, officials said...

CAIRCO  Research

Attorneys general in 13 states have filed a lawsuit challenging a Trump administration rule that'll allow immigration officials to deny green cards to migrants who use public assistance, including food stamps or housing vouchers...

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“PUBLIC CHARGE”  is a term used by U.S. immigration officials to refer to a person who is considered primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance or institutionalization for long-term care at government expense. Where this consideration applies, an immigrant who is found to be “likely . . . to become a public charge” may be denied admission to the U.S. or lawful permanent resident status...