New US rule restricts green cards access

World Today

New US rule restricts green cards accessActing Director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli speaks during a briefing at the White House August 12, 2019, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

A new Trump administration rule will bar legal U.S. immigrants from permanent residency if they receive any type of government aid.

Before getting a visa, prospective immigrants will need to convince U.S. officials they won’t need public assistance after getting here.

CGTN’s Jim Spellman reports.

“President Trump’s administration is reinforcing the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility, ensuring that immigrants are able to support themselves and become successful here in America,” said Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Under current regulations, immigrants who depend on cash assistance from the government for more than half their income are ineligible for a green card—the U.S. document that denotes permanent legal status in the U.S. and is often a step to citizenship.

Under the new rule immigrants who even temporarily receive help – like disability benefits, food assistance and medical care – will be ineligible for a green card.

Critics said the new rule is cruel and shortsighted. They said many immigrants need assistance for a short period of time and then go on to be productive citizens.

As a child, Raja Krishnamoorthi came to the U.S. from India with his parents. They lived in public housing and received food assistance. He is now a U.S. congressman.

“Thanks to the incredible generosity and goodwill of the United States we then got back on our feet, became contributing members of society and, indeed, I would not be in the halls of Congress today but for those programs,” said Raja Krishnamoorthi, U.S Congressman.

The new regulation is slated to go into effect in October, but as with many Trump administration policies, opponents said they will fight the rule in court.