A new rule by the Trump administration would deny visas and green cards to legal immigrants who receive some kinds of government benefits. The new proposal expands a rule first used in the 1800s as a way to deny entry to immigrants who might be a drain on the economy.
Where previous rules denied entry to immigrants who received cash benefits from the government, the new rule would include those immigrants who receive food stamps and other non-cash federal benefits.
“This proposed rule will implement a law passed by Congress intended to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers,” said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
As NBC News previously reported, earlier versions of the proposal included more draconian measures, such as limiting green cards and citizenship for immigrants who had used Obamacare or certain tax credits.
“The [disqualifying] benefits generally represent the largest federal programs for low-income people by total expenditure that address basic living needs such as income, housing, food, and medical care,” a spokeswoman for DHS said in a written briefing.
This is an argument worth having: what are the benefits of being a citizen? If there’s no difference between being a citizen and non-citizen as far as government benefits are concerned, the concept of citizenship is cheapened.
The argument by those who oppose the new rule doesn’t make any sense:
“How you contribute to your community — and not what you look like or the contents of your wallet — should be what matters most,” said Marielena Hincapie of the National Immigration Law Center. “This proposed rule does the opposite, and makes clear that the Trump administration continues to prioritize money over family unity by ensuring that only the wealthiest can afford to build a future in this country.”
Is Hincapie equating someone’s race with how much money he makes? Sorry, but that’s just plain stupid, and a typical argument from the left. They have to bring race into the issue somehow, even if it’s meaningless.
The notion that “only the wealthiest” are going to be let in to the U.S. is equally absurd. The rule doesn’t say you have to be “wealthy.” It doesn’t even say that you cannot be on any kind of government assistance. It is a reasonable standard that the U.S. is well within its rights as a sovereign nation to establish.
And it’s long overdue.