Not Just ‘Illegals’: Trump Admin Plans to Limit Legal Immigration Next

Conservatives frequently insist that their animosity toward immigrants is directed strictly at the “illegals” who don’t pursue a legal path to enter the country. Well, they’re going to have to come up with a better talking point than that in light of the Trump administration’s latest plan to make it extra hard for people to obtain green cards and citizenship.

The proposal, which has been attributed to shameless white nationalist Stephen Miller, would make it difficult for anyone who relied on government services like welfare, food stamps, disability services, health insurance for children, Social Security and Obamacare to obtain or maintain legal status in the United States. Under the projected rules, even those who merely share a household with someone (including citizens!) who received these benefits could become ineligible, which jeopardizes the status of about 20 million immigrants currently in the country.

So much for that “give me your tired, your poor” inscription on the Statue of Liberty. The only immigrants the president’s team is willing to tolerate are rich ones.

Keep in mind that most adult immigrants – even those that collect some form of assistance – work. The issue is that they work at cruddy jobs for poverty wages, and they may need some extra help to get by. The American economy has normalized this situation, and it’s ridiculous to try to shame the very people who are already being taken advantage of and keep the economy afloat by doing jobs most citizens wouldn’t be willing to take.

Also, immigrants must wait at least five years to receive government benefits, so the Trump admin’s portrayal of people entering the country to immediately become freeloaders is way off base.

According to NBC News, the proposal has not been finalized but is nearly ready for public release. Congress doesn’t need to give approval to this proposal, meaning there’s really nothing anyone can do if the administration’s heart (or lack there of) is set on it.

A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security tried to put a “positive” spin on the news, arguing that it’s “clearly intended to protect the American taxpayer by ensuring that foreign nationals seeking to enter or remain in the U.S. are self-sufficient.” She continued, “Any proposed changes would ensure that the government takes the responsibility of being good stewards of taxpayer funds seriously.”

NBC News points to Louis Charles, a man who works 80-hours-per-week, but collects public assistance to care for his daughter who is disabled, as someone likely to get screwed under this plan. Born in Haiti, this green-card holder is anything but “lazy” but because his daughter – who is a citizen, by the way – needs services to survive, Charles could find himself kicked out of the country.

It also appears that the administration is already being more strict about to whom it grants citizenship and green cards, with the rate down by about 20 percent from past years. Anecdotally, immigration lawyers from around the country say they’ve seen more clients get rejected than in the past.

Consequently, lawyers are even cautioning their clients with green cards from applying for citizenship out of fear that the government will see something they don’t like – that wouldn’t necessarily have been a problem under previous administrations – and not only get rejected for citizenship but also lose their green cards.

As for the proposal at hand, GQ’s Luke Darby sums it up accurately:

“There’s no practical reason to penalize people for using social services that exist to be used. Republicans often vilify people who have ever had to rely on these services (even as they give billions of dollars in tax cuts to the richest people in the country) and this new policy is an extension of that same philosophy that declares that anyone who has lived in poverty, for any amount of time, deserves to be punished for it.”

The American success story – where immigrants who come with almost nothing go on to build happy, thriving lives – is a critical part of who we are as a country. To strip that away and make it so only well-to-do immigrants have any business asking for entry, we’re changing our cultural identity.

This plan is terrible and further proof that all that nonsense about supporting “legal” immigration is a distraction from the GOP’s real motivator: racism.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

62 comments

Susanne R
Susanne R3 hours ago

(continued...)

These people don't want to pay for other people's birth control, but they don't want to pay for the programs that assist women who bear children who were unplanned. Sadder still, they might just have even more sinister reasons, which don't relate specifically to the topic at hand.

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Susanne R
Susanne R4 hours ago

Re: High population countries should limit their populations and then they would not be sending out floods of hungry people.

Actually, people are leaving lawless Central American countries voluntarily to save their lives and the lives of their children. As far as "limiting population," China tried that because their country was overpopulated. They limited couples to one child. Poor women who bore a baby girl had her child taken from her by family members and drowned or left alone in an area where an animal was likely to kill and consume her. Boys, of course, were cherished. Wealthier families could pay the medical cost of determining the sex of the child and would choose abortion until they conceived a boy. All these years later, there aren't enough "brides" for all these cherished sons. According to Wikipedia: "According to the Chinese government, 400 million births (not conceptions) were prevented, starting from 1969 a decade before the start of one child policy. In October 2015, the Chinese government changed from a 1- to a 2-child policy. It is now contemplating changing to a 3-child policy." I guess mother nature knows best.

Providing safe and effective contraception is the best way to limit population growth, and it's the most humane way to do it. Unfortunately, the religious right -and trump, who caters to them- doesn't approve. These people don't want to pay for other people's birth control, but they don't want to pay for the program

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Laura K
Laura K14 hours ago

tyfs

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Joan E
Joan E18 hours ago

This pathetic little Hitler-wannabe needs a one-way ticket to Mars.

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Dave f
Dave fyesterday

TFS

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta Eyesterday

david f
Is that avatar deer still alive or your Sunday dinner.
AS USUAL you have Roberta G and myself mixed up but it doesn't really matter be most of your posts are not worth reading anyway.
Maybe you should also learn about your SOCIALIST programs in the US or at the very least the meaning of socialism

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David F
David F1 days ago

RHoberta G, the proud self-proclaimed socialist (Mary) displays her hypocrisy again. She uses our Statue of LIBERTY to push her line of reasoning.
Need to remind her that the statue of liberty is all about LIBERTY, the antithesis of her socialism.

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara1 days ago

High population countries should limit their populations and then they would not be sending out floods of hungry people.

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara1 days ago

If the flood of people looking for low paid work is reduced, the workers suddenly get the power to set terms and ask for pay rises. Because otherwise those tomatoes and melons won't get picked. The house won't get cleaned and lawn mowed. The store won't have clothes on the rails. Every low paid worker would be worth more. Employers would have to do more to keep them, like offering health care.

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara1 days ago

Every country has to limit legal immigration and the US has always done it, hence the queues for visas instead of just flying in anytime and starting work. Hence people from Europe can come for a holiday but not start work, must go home after their student or work visa expires etc. And guess what, European countries treat American visa holders the same way.

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