New ‘wall’: U.S. cracks down on welfare benefits for illegal immigrants

by WorldTribune Staff, February 24, 2020

The Supreme Court on Friday paved the way for the Trump administration to re-instate the Public Charge Grounds Final Rule, which requires immigrants to be self-sufficient.

Ken Cuccinelli: ‘Self-sufficiency is a core American value and has been part of immigration law for centuries.’

“There’s another wall President Trump is building — without spending a single cent on concrete or steel,” wrote Catherine Shoichet, who covers immigration for CNN Digital. “And this week, a big piece of it becomes official. It’s a major change that could impact hundreds of thousands of people — or by some estimates, even millions.”

The Clinton-era welfare reform rule, which was once championed by Democrats, could end billions in federal and state welfare payments to immigrants. The rule requires immigrants to provide proof that they will not become a burden on U.S. taxpayers.

A Department of Homeland Security official told Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard that President Donald Trump’s goal was not budget savings but enforcing laws on the books.

“The intent behind implementing the Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule is not to save money, but rather to faithfully execute the nation’s long-standing public charge inadmissibility law, and better ensure that aliens seeking to come to and remain in the United States temporarily or permanently are able to support themselves as they seek opportunity here, relying on their own capabilities and the resources of their families, sponsors, and private organizations, rather than public resources,” said the official.

Under the rule, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services “will look at the factors required under the law by Congress, like an alien’s age, health, income, education, and skills, among others, in order to determine whether the alien is likely at any time to become a public charge,” said an official.

The rule will force thousands of immigrants to shift off public welfare programs so that they are not deported. Some of the programs covered include Supplemental Security Income, cash assistance from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, and state or local general assistance programs. The use of Medicare can also be included.

“Self-sufficiency is a core American value and has been part of immigration law for centuries,” said Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security and acting director of USCIS. “By requiring those seeking to come or stay in the United States to rely on their own resources, families, and communities, we will encourage self-sufficiency, promote immigrant success and protect American taxpayers.”

According to the Federal Register, there will be a reduction of $2.74 billion a year “due to disenrollment or foregone enrollment in public benefits programs by foreign-born non-citizens who may be receiving public benefits.”

Another reduction of $1.01 billion will come from federal medical spending tapped by immigrants.

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