Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director
of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a new regulation that
will dramatically reshape the immigration system. The policy mandates that
green cards and visas will not be granted to applicants who have low income or
The regulation aims to discourage low
income applicants to go to the U.S by removing provisions covering a wide range
of federal, state and local government benefits. These benefits include food
stamps, housing vouchers, and Medicaid to legal immigrants.
“Through the public charge rule,
President Trump’s administration is reinforcing the ideal of self-sufficiency
and personal responsibility, ensuring that immigrants are able to support
themselves and become successful in America,” Cuccinelli said.
When asked about whether the rule is
unfairly targeting low-income immigrants, Cuccinelli responded by saying that
the policy should be viewed differently:
“We certainly expect people of
any income to be able to stand on their own two feet, so if people are not able
to be self-sufficient, than this negative factor is going to bear very heavily
against them in a decision about whether they’ll be able to become a legal
Cuccinelli explained that the
administration is merely trying to enforce a long-standing goal of U.S.
immigration law, which is to prevent individuals from becoming a “public
Immigration advocates quickly
denounced the new rule. New York Attorney General Letitia James announced her
plans to block the rule.
“President Trump’s new public
charge rule is yet one more example of his Administration turning its back on
people fighting to make a better life for them and their families,” James
said in a statement.
“Under this rule, children will
go hungry; families will go without medical care. I am committed to defending
all of New York’s communities, which is why I intend to sue the Trump
Administration over this egregious rule.”
Democratic presidential candidate
Beto O’Rourke immediately criticized Trump administration’s move.
“Legal. Undocumented. Refugee.
Asylum Seeker. The distinctions don’t matter to President Trump. If you’re an
immigrant, he believes you have no place in this country—even though, for 243
years, immigrants have made America the greatest nation the world has ever
known,” the former Texas congressman tweeted.
The rule has been set to
take full effect in 60 days but legal challenges from immigrant-rights
advocates are expected to arise.