Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Trump government proposes measures against immigrants getting public benefits

Washington DC, Sep 22 (EFE).- The United States government proposed Saturday a measure to prevent legal immigrants receiving government aid from getting permanent residence permits.

The measure by the government led by President Donald Trump could force millions of poor immigrants depending on public aid for food and lodging to make a difficult choice between accepting financial aid or receiving a Green Card.

Department of Homeland Security’s Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement that the measure is in accordance with current laws.

US Vice President Mike Pence (L) listens to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen (R) speak at an event to honor federal immigration agents in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 20 August 2018. The event, which the White House is calling a ‘Salute to the Heroes of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection’, comes after the administration’s ‘zero-tolerance’ policy caused hundreds of migrant children to be separated from their parents. EFE

“Under longstanding federal law, those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially,” said Nielsen.

“The Department takes seriously its responsibility to be transparent in its rulemaking and is welcoming public comment on the proposed rule,” she added.

According to Nielsen, this proposed rule seeks to promote “immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers.”

Immigrants who are aged, many of whom depend on public aid to take care of their medical costs, are also likely to be affected by this measure.

The proposed measure, which according to the administration would affect 382,000 people, is the most recent in a series of actions under Trump’s tough stand on immigration.

While the measure does not affect those immigrants who already have a Green Card, immigrant rights activists fear that even they may stop availing of social security for fear of losing their permanent residence permits.