It’s arguably the most drastic change to the legal immigration system yet.
The Trump administration on Monday unveiled a new rule that could deny visas and permanent residency to hundreds of thousands of people who entered the U.S. legally for being too poor.
(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) ACTING DIRECTOR OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES KEN CUCCINELLI SAYING: "Our rule generally prevents aliens who are likely to become a public charge from coming to the United States or remaining here and getting a green card." Reuters correspondent Mica Rosenberg explains.
(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT MICA ROSENBERG SAYING: “In this sweeping change by the Trump administration, it basically would disqualify more people for immigration benefits if they, in the future, are determined that they would be a public charge - which means they would be dependent on public benefits.” In other words, those who may need a much expanded list of public assistance in the future including welfare, food stamps, public housing, Medicaid and other benefits may now be denied visas or green cards.
The long-anticipated rule, pushed by Trump’s leading advisor on immigration, Stephen Miller, takes effect Oct.
While proponents say it will protect tax-payers, critics say the law is racially motivated.
(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) STEVE CHOI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE NEW YORK IMMIGRATION COALITION SAYING: “This rule essentially says that for anyone who isn’t white, isn’t wealthy, that you must forego food, you must forego shelter and basic medical care.” The overhaul is part of Trump’s efforts to curb both legal and illegal immigration, an issue he has made a cornerstone of his presidency.
(SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) STEPHEN MILLER, TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR SAYING: "I don't wanna get into a whole thing about history here but..." Miller, in 2017, brushed off criticism that the administration’s policies toward immigration countered American ideals... highlighted by an inscription on the Statue of Liberty that reads, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” (SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) STEPHEN MILLER, TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SENIOR POLICE ADVISOR SAYING: "The poem that you're referring to was added later." (SOUND BITE) (ENGLISH) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT MICA ROSENBERG SAYING: “Immigration advocates have already said that they’re going to sue over this rule.
We are looking into the legal arguments that they could make, but what they’ve said is that the president and the administration is going beyond the intent of what Congress had under the law.” The Migration Policy Institute, a research organization, estimated more than half of all family-based green card applicants could be denied under the new system.