White House reviewing plan to restrict immigrants to use government programs
The White House is reviewing a proposal that could penalize immigrants who use certain government programs including benefits used by family members of the immigrants, the proposal could also apply to benefits being used by US citizens, who may be the spouse or child of the immigrant applying for status.
The proposed rule would expand the type of benefits that could be considered as grounds to reject any immigrants' application to extend their stay in the US or become a permanent resident and eventually a citizen as the changes could have the effect of substantially tipping the scales in favor of high-income immigrants.
The expansion would include programs like children's health insurance, tax credits and some forms of Medicaid as black marks against immigrants seeking to change their status to stay. The authorities might reject immigrants if they are likely to become a or dependent on government.
The rule would not explicitly prohibit immigrants or their families from accepting the benefits. Rather, it authorizes the officers who evaluate their applications for things like green cards and residency visas to count the use of these programs against the immigrant and gives them authority to deny the immigrants visas on these grounds.
Immigrants are no more likely to qualify for these programs
than the native US population. There is no substantial
difference in the rate between the two groups.