President Donald Trump just checkmated House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats with a bold new idea for immigration rules.
According to Reuters, the Trump administration is considering reversing a long-standing policy to make it easier to deport temporarily legal immigrants — otherwise known as Green Card holders — who are using public benefits.
This move is aimed at restricting the number of immigrants in America who are low-income and heavily rely on taxpayer-funded assistance from the government.
Here’s the best part: In order for the plan to go into effect, Attorney General William Barr has all of the power to sign off on the measure and make it official.
And if it goes all the way to the Supreme Court, the Republicans currently have a 5-4 majority thanks to Trump successfully appointing Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
Here’s more from Reuters on the draft:
A Department of Justice draft regulation, seen by Reuters, dramatically expands the category of people who could be subject to deportation on the grounds that they use benefits.
Currently, those legal permanent residents who are declared to be a “public charge,” or primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, can be deported – but in practice, this is very rare.
The draft regulation would use a more expansive definition to include some immigrants who have used an array of public benefits, including cash welfare, food stamps, housing aid, or Medicaid.
While the plan is at an early stage, might not become official government policy, and is likely to attract lawsuits, it is one part of efforts by the Trump administration to restrict legal immigration, in addition to its efforts to reduce illegal immigration to the United States.
The full possible impact is not known, but the change in policy could affect permanent residents – also known as “green card” holders – who are legally entitled to use public benefits soon after their arrival in the United States, such as refugees.
Below is more information on the precedent that the Trump administration is looking at:
But due to a 1948 ruling, the deportation of immigrants for using public benefits has been strictly limited to cases in which the government has demanded payment for public services, and the person has failed to pay. Immigration lawyers said they have rarely if ever heard of someone being deported for using public benefits.
The draft rule indicates the government would override that precedent to allow for deportation of some permanent residents who have used certain public benefits within five years of admission.
The public benefits in question include Supplemental Security Income (SSI), given to disabled and older people; the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps; Section 8 housing vouchers; many Medicaid benefits; and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a cash assistance program.
With the 2020 election season underway, many voters support Trump’s goal of securing the border and combating illegal immigration.
Democrats are really going to be upset when they see Trump’s other immigration idea.