Ever the businessman, President Trump is set on saving American taxpayers money.
The Trump administration is considering a new rule that would make it harder for foreign nationals in the US to qualify for permanent residency if they use welfare, Reuters reports.
According to drafts seen by Reuters, the proposed rule would allow immigration officers to see the public benefit usage history of immigration applicants, allowing them to determine whether potential immigrants would be a public burden.
Immigration officials would be able to make calls based on a number of available information, such as whether applicants have put their children in government preschool programs, received government healthcare, or been enrolled in food assistance.
The document read:
“Non-citizens who receive public benefits are not self-sufficient and are relying on the U.S. government and state and local entities for resources instead of their families, sponsors or private organizations.
“An alien’s receipt of public benefits comes at taxpayer expense and availability of public benefits may provide an incentive for aliens to immigrate to the United States.”
Welfare usage, even if applied to the foreign nationals’ children, could weigh against them when applying for a permanent status.
US Immigration law already excludes persons who would become a “public charge” from permanent residence.
The new rule would potentially cut immigration by defining “public charge” as a person who receives “any government assistance in the form of cash, checks or other forms of money transfers, or instrument and non-cash government assistance in the form of aid, services, or other relief.”
Tyler Houlton, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said:
“The administration is committed to enforcing existing immigration law, which is clearly intended to protect the American taxpayer.
“Any potential changes to the rule would be in keeping with the letter and spirit of the law – as well as the reasonable expectations of the American people for the government to be good stewards of taxpayer funds.”
DHS statistics revealed that approximately 383,000 people who would be subject to the proposed rule became permanent residents in 2016.
While the rule would not apply to permanent residents applying for citizenship, many close family members of US citizens and foreign national employees of American companies would be affected.
A 2015 report from the Center for Immigration Studies showed that 49 percent of households headed by a legal immigrant and 62 percent of households headed by an illegal immigrant depended on at least one government assistance program.
Meanwhile, 30 percent of Native-headed households used some form of welfare.
In a complete “180” from the Obama administration, the executive branch is for once putting American taxpayers first.