Health Care

Trump Announces New Rule to Limit and Penalize Low-Income Immigrants

Trump Announces New Rule to Limit and Penalize Low-Income Immigrants”

President Trump's top immigration official suggested a footnote to the iconic poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty, in line with the administration's policy of favoring immigrants with the skills and means to support themselves.

A large proportion of immigrants from India are professional or relatives of professionals and the community as a whole is the highest-earning group with a median annual household income of over $110,000, according to the USA census bureau. NPR's Rachel Martin asked Cuccinelli on "Morning Edition" in an interview published Tuesday.

The public charge rule that Cuccinelli is referring to takes into account an immigrant's current or possible future reliance on the government when reviewing applications for permanent status.

Here's acting USCIS director Ken Cuccinelli saying on NPR this morning that the Statue of Liberty plaque should be changed to read, "give me your exhausted and your poor who can stand on their own two feet, and who will not become a public charge".

He said the welcoming words from the 1903 plaque at the Statue of Liberty, "Give me your exhausted, your poor", were put there "at nearly the same time" as when the first public charge law was passed - in 1882.

"I'm certainly not prepared to take anything down off the Statue of Liberty", Cuccinelli replied.

He insisted that the poem plaque was placed on the Statue of Liberty at nearly the same time as the first public charge law.

The actual passage reads in part: "Give me your exhausted, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!'" It was mounted in the lower level of Lady Liberty's pedestal in 1903.

The immigration rules have required immigrants to be self-sufficient or for their sponsors to meet certain income guidelines to show they support them so that they do not become "public charges".

Rumors that the Trump administration was considering the regulation already led to a chilling effect on immigrants looking to put down roots through legal and permanent residency.

It also does not apply to refugees and asylum applicants.

Cuccinelli on Monday announced the rule change that redefines a "public charge" as an immigrant who is likely to end up receiving some kind of public assistance, including Medicaid, housing vouchers and food stamps.

After implementation, it may not only reduce the number of legal immigrants in the USA, but also make it easier for low-income immigrants in the country to apply for benefits even if they need them, thus increasing their health, education, etc.

The people coming in, he said, should "not be a burden on the taxpayers or the government".



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