President Trump announced Wednesday that he will push through new laws banning immigrants from claiming welfare for five years amid wholesale changes to America’s immigration system.
Speaking at a campaign-style rally in Grand Rapids, Iowa, President Trump said the United States deserves only the best immigrants – educated, highly skilled, and solvent.
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“The time has come for new immigration rules that say … those seeking immigration into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years,” Trump told a campaign-style rally in Grand Rapids, Iowa.
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The president’s new legislation will consolidate the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which allows federal authorities to deport immigrants who become public dependents within five years of their arrival.
Many of that law’s provisions were rolled back during the Barack Obama administration, but the new legislation will make more categories of federal benefits off-limits to immigrants.
Fox reports: The administration circulated a draft executive order to make Trump’s proposed changes earlier this year. However, Trump’s remarks Wednesday indicated that he wants Congress to codify his plan into law.
Trump’s proposal would also prevent the admission of people who are likely to become so-called “public charges” within five years of their arrival. The concept of “public charge” has been part of U.S. immigration law for over a century. It allows the government to bar entry to individuals who are likely to seek public assistance. Trump is expected to propose toughening up the rules regarding “public charge” and ensuring that they are enforced.
In requesting these changes, the White House will cite a 2015 report from the Center for Immigration Studies that found 51 percent of households headed by an immigrant are using some form of public assistance, compared to 30 percent among non-immigrant families.