Legal immigrants who have applied for US public benefits may have it harder to become US citizens or get green cards in the future if the newest proposal by Trump administration gets approved.
White House senior adviser and white nationalist Stephen Miller, has come with the plan of introducing a bill that makes it more difficult to become a US citizen or obtain a green card for legal immigrants if they or their household members have ever used at least one of the following:
- the Affordable Care Act, which is also known as Obamacare,
- the supplemental nutrition assistance,
- children’s health insurance, or
- other social programs.
The main idea behind the plan is to reduce the number of immigrants eligible to stay permanently in the US, as a part of chain actions the White House has undertaken under the “America First” policy.
“The administration is committed to enforcing existing immigration law, which is clearly intended to protect the American taxpayer by ensuring that foreign nationals seeking to enter or remain in the U.S. are self-sufficient,” a spokeswoman of the Department of Homeland Security said when asked about the proposal.
Despite that the Obamacare has been necessary for immigrants since not having healthcare resulted in a penalty, the proposal says that immigrants who are determined to be a “public burden” to the US budget, will have their green cards or visa applications rejected.
The 32-year-old immigration hardliner Stephen Miller is also one of those behind the “zero-tolerance” immigration policy at the southern border, which led to the separation of hundreds of families illegally coming to the US.
Legal immigration goes down under Trump
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services data shows that legal immigration under Trump administration has decreased slightly since Obama left office. It is estimated that 20% less green cards will be issued to immigrants, whereas 10% less will become naturalized citizens, in comparison to 2016, the last year under Obama administration.
It is estimated that more than 20 million immigrants currently residing in the US would be impacted by the policy if the proposal is to be approved.