Cuccinelli: Public Charge Standard Has Existed for Almost 140 Years — New Rule Intended to ‘Give Meaningful Effect’

During an appearance on Monday’s broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli explained to fill-in host Mark Steyn how the new green card rule his agency issued earlier in the day was an effort to bolster existing law.

Steyn shared his own travails with the U.S. immigration system with regards to proving he would not be a charge on the public purse and questioned what today’s announcement changed. According to Cuccinelli, up until now, existing law has been ineffective and required such action.

“Well, it’s actually been around, Mark, for almost 140 years,” he said. “So it wasn’t new to you. They didn’t make it up just for you. You shouldn’t feel singled out. But I will say, for the last couple of decades, because of the guidance issued after the 1996 version of this law, it’s been ineffective. And so, the rule we issued today, a public charge rule, is intended to once again give meaningful effect to the public charge standard. And what that is in ordinary English for people watching, is basically that we try to avoid having immigrants come through our process, come to our country, or become green card holders, who are likely in the future to become welfare-dependent. That is what this rule is about.”

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