President Donald Trump’s administration is considering a new regulation that would discourage foreign nationals seeking to become permanent residents and United States citizens from using taxpayer-funded welfare.
According to an exclusive report by Reuters, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is weighing a plan where the agency would take into account a foreign nationals’ welfare usage in the U.S. when they are applying for permanent residency and U.S. citizenship.
For example, U.S. officials could look at whether the applicant has enrolled a child in government pre-school programs or received subsidies for utility bills or health insurance premiums.
“Non-citizens who receive public benefits are not self-sufficient and are relying on the U.S. government and state and local entities for resources instead of their families, sponsors or private organizations,” the document states. “An alien’s receipt of public benefits comes at taxpayer expense and availability of public benefits may provide an incentive for aliens to immigrate to the United States.”
In a statement to Breitbart News, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Press Secretary Tyler Houlton said the Trump administration is “committed” to protecting taxpayer money, including in immigration cases.
“The Administration is committed to enforcing existing immigration law, which is clearly intended to protect the American taxpayer,” Houlton said. “Any potential changes to the rule would be in keeping with the letter and spirit of the law – as well as the reasonable expectations of the American people for the government to be good stewards of taxpayer funds.”
Center for Immigration Studies
Breitbart News has long chronicled immigrants’ use of welfare, with a 2015 report finding that “49 percent of households headed by a legal immigrant participated in at least one welfare program in 2012, compared to 30 percent of native-headed households and 62 percent of illegal immigrant-headed households.”
Trump first floated the ban on immigrants receiving taxpayer-funded welfare plan in June 2017.
At the time, as Breitbart News reported, a Rasmussen poll revealed that 62 percent of likely voters said they support barring new immigrants to the U.S. from receiving welfare benefits for at least five years, as Trump proposed.
Middle-class Americans making $30,000 to $50,000 a year are the most likely to support the ban on welfare for immigrants, with 72 percent in favor. Those who describe themselves as “moderates” are also on-board at a rate of 61 percent.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.