New White House immigration rule: How will your taxes be impacted?

Erika Holt
August 13, 2019

Advocacy organizations and legal expertshave warnedthat the Trump administration's rule - which theNew York Timesdescribedas a "top priority" of Miller - could force low-income immigrants to choose between vital public assistance programs and the security of permanent residency.

The new regulations were announced during a press conference at the White House, Monday.

The measure defines a "public charge" as an immigrant who receives one or more public benefits for more than 12 months during a 36-month period.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli said the new regulations are to make sure immigrants are better able to supports themselves.

Announcing a new definition of the longstanding "public charge" law, the White House said migrants will be blocked from entering the country if they are likely to need public assistance, and those already here will not be able to obtain green cards or U.S. citizenship.

He added that it may not be the immigrants' fault that they were dependent on public services, but that it was a drain on US taxpayers nonetheless as a result of bad immigration policies that encouraged them to come.

The Trump administration integrated rules that could deny government assistance programs, including food stamps, Medicaid, and housing vouchers for immigrants.

The White House said on Monday that migrants will be blocked from entering the country if they are likely to need public assistance, and those already in the United States will not be able to obtain green cards or citizenship. Asked if this public rule charge is an admission from the administration that congressional action is moot, Cuccinelli said, "absolutely not", and this policy change isn't a substitute for congressional action.

The CATO Institute released a study past year reviewing the use rates of some benefit programs by immigrants and native-born Americans.

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The widely condemned rule would effectively see the definition of who can be considered a "public charge"-someone who relies on government assistance through public benefits-expanded, to the likely detriment of certain low-income immigrants".

Immigration advocates expect the rule to draw an immediate flurry of lawsuits.

The ruling could impact some 22 million non-citizen legal residents of the country, and the estimated 10.5 million unauthorised immigrants, most of them-long-term residents.

"A family might want to hold back on using those benefits [because of the new rule], and in so doing, they might be jeopardizing the future income, health and productivity of their family", she said. The rules were published Monday and take effect in October.

"Trump's public charge rule is a xenophobic and classist attack on immigrants", said NYIC.

This rule will dramatically change the lives of immigrants and the course of immigration to the US, said Ali Noorani, who directs the nonpartisan National Immigration Forum. Immigrants "most commonly" avoided signing up for SNAP benefits and Medicaid because of the rule, the report said.

He said the newcomers "compete for jobs against the most vulnerable Americans" and weigh heavily on welfare programs.

The New York mayor's Office and immigration think tanks say just the anticipation of that provision already has caused large numbers of legal immigrants to abstain from seeking help through such programs - despite being legally entitled to do so - because they are afraid it will hinder their ability to become citizens or remain in the United States.

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