By the Associated Press:
Trump administration rules that could deny green cards to immigrants if they use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance are going into effect.
Federal law already requires people seeking green cards to prove they will not be a burden, or what’s called a “public charge.” But the new rules detail a broad range of programs that could disqualify them.
The rules were made public on Monday and will take effect in October.
The rules are among President Donald Trump’s most aggressive efforts to curb legal immigration, part of an overall attempt to restrict immigration and benefits in the U.S. They were met with much criticism when they were proposed last fall.
Homeland Security officials say they made a series of changes to the proposed rules following 266,000 public comments.
Immigrant rights groups are blasting the Trump administration’s new rules that could deny green cards to immigrants if they use forms of public assistance like food stamps or Medicaid.
The Los Angeles-based National Immigration Law Center immediately vowed to file a lawsuit challenging the changes that take effect in October. In a Monday statement, the group calls the new rules an attempt to redefine the legal immigration system “in order to disenfranchise communities of color and favor the wealthy.”
Advocates say the efforts will scare immigrants into not asking for help and worry the rules will be applied too broadly.
The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles says the biggest toll will be on vulnerable populations with limited means. The group’s executive director, Angelica Salas, calls the Trump administration’s approach “cruel” and “unnecessary” with the clear objective of keeping “all “all immigrants out.”
A major medical association says new guidelines that could be used to deny green cards to immigrants who use public assistance like Medicaid will have drastic consequences on health care.
Association of American Medical Colleges President David Skorton issued a statement Monday saying the rules change will discourage noncitizen immigrants from seeking needed medical care and services. That could exacerbate illnesses, worsen health disparities and lead to increased costs of care.
The association represents over 150 medical schools and almost 400 teaching hospitals nationwide.