US Plans To Deny Green Cards To Immigrants Using Or 'Likely' To Use Govt Benefits

| September 23 , 2018 , 14:15 IST

In another crackdown on the immigration process in the US, the President Donald Trump administration has proposed to deny visas and green cards to immigrants who have availed or are 'likely' to avail of government benefits including food and cash assistance, media reported on Sunday.

According to estimates, the new rule can negatively affect hundreds of thousands of Indians living in the US as there are 632,219 Indian immigrants waiting for green cards as of April 2018.

The proposed rule signed by the US Homeland Security Secretary on September 21 and states that foreign immigrants who "seek adjustment of status or a visa, or who are applicants for admission, must establish that they are not likely at any time to become a public charge" unless determined by Congress. Public charge refers to receiving government benefits.

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"Under the long-standing federal law, those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially," said Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

"The department takes seriously its responsibility to be transparent in its rule-making and is welcoming public comment on the proposed rule," she said.

"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," Nielsen said.

The government benefits proposed to fall under this rule include federal, state, local and tribal cash assistance for income maintenance, temporary assistance for needy families, supplemental security income, medicaid (with limited exceptions for Medicaid benefits paid for an "emergency medical condition," and for certain disability services related to education), medicare part D low income subsidy, and the supplemental nutrition assistance programme.

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Meanwhile, the proposal was slammed by Silicon Valley-based tech industry and political leaders.

The FWD.US, which represents companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Dropbox, Yahoo and Google said that the initiate would substantially reduce legal immigration, harming the US.

"This policy will cost the United States in the long run by limiting the contributions of hardworking immigrants who could become legal residents, and no one is better off because of it," FWD.US president Todd Schulte said.

He added, "It would create a subjective criteria and overly-bureaucratic process when making a public charge determination. It is "another underhanded attempt to force cuts to legal immigration, ultimately hurting our communities and country."


The H-1B visa is a NON-IMMIGRANT visa.