President Trump wants Congress to pass legislation which will stop immigrants from taking public assistance within five years of entering the U.S.
“The time has come for new immigration rules that say … those seeking immigration into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years,” Trump stated at a campaign-style rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Wednesday night.
A 2015 report from the Center for Immigration Studies shows that a whopping 51 percent of households headed by an immigrant are taking some form of public assistance, compared to only 30 percent of non-immigrant families.
Trump’s proposal will be based on the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which permits federal authorities to deport immigrants who become public dependents within five years of coming to the U.S. The George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations rolled back many of the provisions of that legislation, but Trump wants to enforce those laws and make more categories of federal benefits off-limits to immigrants.
States normally determine who gets public assistance from local programs, and foreigners with non-immigrant visas and those who come to this country illegally are not eligible for public assistance.
Incoming immigrants who are likely to seek public assistance within five years of their arrival are known as “public charges”. This is a concept that has been part of U.S. immigration law for over a century, and the government is allowed to stop people like this from immigrating here. Trump wants to shore up the rules regarding people who come to the U.S. expecting to get handouts and enforce them.
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