There is new evidence this week that the Trump administration is putting Americans first. There is a new regulation in the Federal Register this week that is causing an uproar in the liberal camp. Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told reporters on Monday that use of welfare benefits such as food stamps and Medicaid will be considered when determining if an immigrant is eligible for permanent legal residency or a temporary visa. The new Department of Homeland Security regulation was placed in the Federal Register on Monday and will take effect on October 14.
The authority for this regulation comes from a bill passed with bipartisan support in 1996. Until this regulation takes effect, the bill applied only to legal immigrants who received cash benefits such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Supplemental Security Income. Cuccinelli says that the new regulation will “help promote immigrant success in the United States as they seek opportunity here…. Throughout our history, self-reliance has been a core principle in America.”
The law, in effect since 1996, required non-citizens to provide for themselves and their families or to be supported by other family members, sponsors, or private organizations. However, Congress failed to complete their task because they did not define the term “public charge” in the law. The term has not been defined by regulation until the new rule was passed.
The new rule clearly says that any immigrant seeking to be a permanent U.S. resident must not expect to be a recipient of U.S. welfare programs. Even though the concept has been in effect for generations, the regulation will apply only after it takes effects the middle of October. David Inserra, a policy analyst for homeland security at The Heritage Foundation explained what the new regulation will do.
The public charge requirement is a long-standing principle of U.S. immigration law, first implemented at the federal level in 1882.
However, the [meaning] of public charge has been poorly defined. The administration’s new rule simply defines … the public charge requirement to reflect today’s system of government benefits.
This rule protects U.S. taxpayers by ensuring that new immigrants to the U.S. will not add even more spending on top of welfare and entitlement programs that are already unsustainably driving American debt higher and higher.
It also ensures that the U.S. is granting permanent residency to those who are self-sufficient, rewarding such immigrants with the privilege of staying and working in the U.S. and eventually gaining access to American citizenship.
The new regulation applies to any public benefit programs on the federal, state, local, or tribal level. However, it does not affect those programs that help children – born or unborn – or public benefits that go to military dependents. It does not apply to refugees or immigrants seeking asylum.
The new rule tells the world – as well as liberals – that the United States is not inviting anyone in the world to come to America and freeload off the American taxpayers. We are interested in immigrants who will be assets to the United States and not those who are coming for benefits. Americans are interested in immigrants who are self-sufficient and self-reliant.