US proposes blocking visas for those using public benefits

It’s the latest move by President Donald Trump to crack down on immigration both legal and illegal

It’s the latest move by President Donald Trump to crack down on immigration both legal and illegal

The proposed legislation which came from the Department of Homeland Security would empower the immigration officer to turn down the visa request or legal permanent residency to aspiring immigrants.

The rules, which run to nearly 450 pages, would make non-immigrants who receive or are considered likely to receive designated public benefits above a designated threshold ineligible for a change of status - such as the granting of a green card - and extension of stay in the US. It is reported Politico, citing a document of the Department of homeland security. But immigration officials now are only allowed to consider families' use of public cash benefits and Medicaid long-term-care benefits in evaluating applications for legal permanent residency and legal entry into the United States.

U.S. immigrants who get public benefits like food stamps or housing vouchers could be denied green cards, under a new proposal from President Donald Trump's administration.

But advocacy groups see the measure as one more attempt by the Trump administration to limit legal immigration and reduce the number of foreigners living in the United States. The proposed regulation defines a public charge to be a person who receives certain public benefits above certain defined threshold amounts or for longer than certain periods of time.

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The administration of U.S. President Donald trump has proposed to tighten the requirements for immigrants to refuse to issue green cards to those who receive certain benefits.

In making this determination, the DHS is proposing to consider current and past receipt of designated public benefits above certain thresholds as a heavily weighed negative factor.

"This proposed rule will implement a law passed by Congress meant to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers", said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Nielsen said the proposed rule "will implement a law passed by Congress meant to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers".

People have 60 day-time to comment on the proposed rule, which will mainly impact legal immigrants as illegal immigrants are not eligible for any government benefits.

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The proposal would affect more than 382,000 people per year who obtain permanent residence while already in the United States, DHS said.

"Building on the traumatic separation of families at the border, the Trump administration has taken another cruel step", Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, said in a statement.

"How you contribute to your community - and not what you look like or the contents of your wallet - should be what matters most", she said.

"This proposed rule does the opposite and makes clear that the Trump administration continues to prioritise money over family unity by ensuring that only the wealthiest can afford to build a future in this country".

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