The Trump administration is attempting to limit the number of immigrants who can obtain legal status in the U.S., according to a report by NBC News last week. White House senior adviser, Stephen Miller, has drafted a proposal to prevent immigrants who use Obamacare, children’s health insurance, food stamps, and other public assistance programs, from obtaining citizenship.
The proposal extends to immigrant household members who have used government programs and disabled immigrants who rely on federal assistance.
Previously, programs like Social Security Disability Insurance has prevented immigrants from obtaining legal status; however, government programs targeted in Miller’s draft could mean that households earning 250 percent of the federal poverty level maybe denied a green card.
Over 20 million immigrants would be impacted by the proposal, particularly those with jobs that don’t pay enough to support their families.
“Any policy forcing millions of families to choose between the denial of status and food or health care would exacerbate serious problems such as hunger, unmet health needs, child poverty, and homelessness, with lasting consequences for families’ well-being and long-term success and community prosperity,” said the National Immigration Law Center in a statement.
Executive vice president of Numbers USA, Rosemary Jenks, stated the new proposal and increased scrutiny around green-card and citizenship applications are part of a focus at DHS to enforce the law and prevent fraud.
“Applications for renewal or adjustment of status that have been filed with the government before are being re-examined to look for fraud,” Jenks said.
Immigrants who have used false documentation to obtain a green-card will be at risk for deportation if they file for citizenship.
Miller and several congressional Republicans have already sought to lower the number of immigrants who can obtain legal status in America.
Data from the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year indicates a decline in immigrants granted green cards by 20 percent. However, Citizenship and Immigration Services expects naturalization numbers to rise in the last half of the year based on previous trends.
At the end of 2017, there were nearly 730,000 pending naturalization applications, more than an 87 percent increase since 2015, according to a report from the National Partnership for New Americans, an alliance of immigrants’ rights groups.
The new proposal does not require congressional approval and is currently under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget, the final step before publishing a rule in the Federal Register.
News of the White House plan comes a week before accusations leveled by the ACLU against Immigration Services and ICE in a federal court were revealed that the two agencies conspired to “trap” and deport illegal immigrants applying for legal status at scheduled appointments with federal authorities.
Obama-era immigration policy which has yet to be overturned protects immigrants seeking a green-card who have an American spouse or other legal family members.
[NBC News] [Fortune] [Photo courtesy Spencer Platt/Getty Images via The Blaze]