NBC News is reporting that the White House plans to unveil a proposal that would make getting a green card or becoming a citizen even harder for recipients of public benefits. The plan is part of senior adviser Stephen Miller's overall plan to cut down on the number of law-abiding migrants accepted into the US every year. The plan was reported to NBC News by four sources who know of the plan firsthand.
While details are finalized, here's what we know:
Immigrants who are lawfully residing in the US may have a harder time obtaining permanent residency or citizenship if they've ever used children's health insurance, Obamacare, food stamps, and other public benefits. Immigration experts are calling it the "biggest change to the legal immigration system in decades." It would affect 20 million migrants, many of whom are working low-paying jobs that don't provide insurance or benefits.
The NBC report highlighted the story of Louis Charles, an immigrant from Haiti who works 80 hours a week and relies on public benefits to care for his adult daughter with disabilities. Mr. Charles' story is not uncommon—in general, the cost of living has increased while wages for low-paying jobs (and others) have stayed flat.
Legal Immigration on 20 Percent Decline
According to immigration numbers from the fiscal year 2018, immigrants who will be granted green cards this year have reduced in number by 20 percent, while those who were granted naturalized citizenship decreased by 10 percent. That's hundreds of thousands of people who might have been granted residency only 2 years ago. Immigration attorneys are working overtime to ensure their clients are among the few who are accepted.
New Jersey Immigration Lawyer Lloyd Bennett had this to say about the plan: "We continue to recommend that applicants hire an immigration attorney to review their eligibility for naturalization as the administration continues to impose new requirements. We will continue to monitor the admirations anti-immigrant policies and encourage you to contact your representatives and express your views."