Report by Paula Antolini, August 13, 2019, 10:28AM EDT
“To protect benefits for American citizens, immigrants must be financially self-sufficient.” –President Donald Trump
PROTECTING PUBLIC RESOURCES: The Trump Administration is taking action to help ensure that non-citizens in this country are self-sufficient and not a strain on public resources.
- The Trump Administration is releasing a final rule that will protect American taxpayers, preserve our social safety net for vulnerable Americans, and uphold the rule of law.
- This action will help ensure that if aliens want to enter or remain in the United States they must support themselves, and not rely on public benefits.
- An alien who receives public benefits above a certain threshold is known as a “public charge.”
- Aliens will be barred from entering the United States if they are found likely to become public charges.
- Aliens in the United States who are found likely to become public charges will also be barred from adjusting their immigration status.
- President Trump is enforcing this longstanding law to prevent aliens from depending on public benefit programs.
- The Immigration and Nationality Act makes clear that those seeking to come to the United States cannot be a public charge.
- For many years, this clear legal requirement went largely unenforced, imposing vast burdens on American taxpayers. Now, public charge law will finally be utilized.
ENCOURAGING SELF-SUFFICIENCY: Self-sufficiency has long been a basic principle of our Nation’s immigration laws that has enjoyed widespread support.
- Public charge has been a part of United States immigration law for more than 100 years as a ground of inadmissibility.
- Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed two bipartisan bills in 1996 to help stop aliens from exploiting public benefits.
- This included the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act.
- As Congress made clear at the time, it is our national policy that aliens should “not depend on public resources to meet their needs.”
- Americans widely agree that individuals coming to our country should be self-sufficient, with 73 percent in favor of requiring immigrants to be able to support themselves financially.
PRESERVING THE SOCIAL SAFETY NET: We must ensure that non-citizens do not abuse our public benefit programs and jeopardize the social safety net needed by vulnerable Americans.
- Large numbers of non-citizens and their families have taken advantage of our generous public benefits, limited resources that could otherwise go to vulnerable Americans.
- 78 percent of households headed by a non-citizen with no more than a high school education use at least one welfare program.
- 58 percent of all households headed by a non-citizen use at least one welfare program.
- Half of all non-citizen headed households include at least one person who uses Medicaid.