Trump admin tightens rules on 'public charge'

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Chris Woodward, Billy Davis (

U.S. flag and Statue of LibertyImmigration rights groups are up in arms after the Trump administration announced it would enforce new “public charge” rules that restrict “green cards” for legal immigrants using public assistance.

The Hill reported Tuesday that two California counties appear to be the first to file lawsuits to stop enforcement of the “public charge” rule that was announced just a day earlier by Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  

The suing counties are San Francisco and Santa Clara.

“Public charge” has been part of U.S. immigration rules since the 1880s, requiring non-citizens to find a means to support themselves other than public assistance.

Cuccinelli explains in a CNN op-ed that “public charge” is not clearly defined in federal laws but it’s understood that the U.S. disapproves of immigrants who are “primarily dependent” on federal assistance.


“With this new rule,” he wrote, “Homeland Security now defines public charge to mean an alien who receives one or more designated public benefits for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period (for instance, receipt of two benefits in one month counts as two months).”

Media outlets such as liberal NPR are calling the new, tighter restrictions a “backdoor” plan to clamp down on unskilled immigrants.

Horace Cooper of Project 21 tells OneNewsNow that President Trump is doing what he promised to do by addressing immigration.

"It's particularly good for working-class Americans, people who are poor, people who live in the inner city,” Cooper says. “That is the very people who are struggling are not and should not be expected to pay for people who are coming to the country to compete against them."

Working-class Americans compete with immigrants not just on the job site, Cooper says, but when crowding into a hospital emergency room, seeking an education, and training for jobs.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services“We don't have the money to fund the support for poor people in an unlimited way,” Cooper complains. “And why would we want to create a circumstance where people from other countries come in and add to the competition for scarce resources?"

Conservative Review writer Daniel Horowitz, who has become an expert on immigration policy, wrote via Twitter that immigrants remain eligible for WIC, the CHIP insurance program, student loans and mortgage loans, free school lunches, energy assistance, Head Start participation, and “much” of Medicaid.

“Yet,” he wrote, “it’s still too strong for the Left.”  

The Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, is warning that Trump’s “crackdown” on legal immigrants could “damage the California economy."

Why? Because immigrants who dis-enroll means fewer federal dollars flowing into the state, a health analyst at UC Berkley told the newspaper.


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