With the Supreme Court having lifted preliminary injunctions on the “public charge” rule restricting green cards for immigrants deemed likely to be dependent on welfare programs or otherwise be a burden on society, the Trump administration is moving forward with the rule.
Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli appeared on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and was asked by fill-in host Mark Steyn, who said when he immigrated from England he faced questions about whether he’d be a “charge on the public purse,” if the government stopped this approach.
Cuccinelli said it’s been around 140 years, but has been “ineffective” the past couple of decades — in 1882, Congress banned any immigrant “unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge.”
“It’s consistent with our law for over 140 years,” Cuccinelli said of the public charge rule. “It’s a core American value of self-sufficiency, and it’s just plain old logic — what country wants to bring welfare problems into its society? We don’t want to do that.”
“We’re happy to open our doors to people from all over the world,” he added. “But we expect them to stand on their own two feet.”
To the surprise of few, the public charge rule is “furiously opposed by Democrats,” as noted by Fox News.
But then, the party has a history of creating an entitlement class that is supported by government handouts — a class dependent on Democrats to keep the largess flowing.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham detailed the benefits of the rule in a statement on Friday.
“This final rule will protect hardworking American taxpayers, safeguard welfare programs for truly needy Americans, reduce the Federal deficit, and re-establish the fundamental legal principle that newcomers to our society should be financially self-reliant and not dependent on the largess of United States taxpayers,” Grisham said.
More on the rule from Fox News:
The new rule defines a “public charge” as an immigrant who received one or more designated benefits for more than 12 months in a 36-month period. Those benefits that would be designated included Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), as well as most forms of Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. The rule expands the number of benefits that can be considered from interim guidance issued in 1999.
It also excludes certain benefits from consideration — including tax credits, emergency medical assistance, disaster relief, national school lunch programs, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid received by individuals under 21 years of age and pregnant women.
“We don’t think immigrants should be relying on the U.S. government for welfare and they have some legal ability to do that, but if that’s their approach to the United States of America and they have no interest in self-sufficiency and standing on their own two feet, that’s not who we want joining our American community long term,” he said.
Cuccinelli said “ordinary Americans” are surprised to learn that this common-sense approach isn’t already in effect.
“The reaction by most ordinary Americans that talk to me about this is ‘I can’t believe we needed to do this, I can’t believe that welfare is available for people who aren’t American citizens or who aren’t already here on a permanent basis,'” he explained. “They are stunned by that for starters and the idea that we would encourage that is not something I have seen much in the way of favorable response.”
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