Immigration officials are carefully developing a regulation to implement Congress’ long-standing law against the admission of unskilled migrants who cannot afford to live in the United States, a top administration official said August 15.
“Everything we do is guided by the law, the law, that is all we’re doing … There is no nefarious intent or design” against migrants, said Francis Cissna, the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, during a media event at the National Press Club.
“Like it not, that [law] has been on the books since the 1880s … [and] the term ‘public charge’ has been unchanged in all those years,” said Cissna, whose agency is part of the Department of Homeland Security.
Cissna spoke cautiously because his agency is under growing pressure from the progressives and business groups who oppose curbs on the arrival of migrants who depend on taxpayers to maintain a decent living standard in the United States.
The task of writing the public-charge regulation will be difficult, partly because Americans do not want to deny commonplace aid to immigrants, but also because the federal government has created a huge variety of financial aid programs which lie somewhere between income-tax rebates and welfare checks.
The in-between programs include taxpayer-funded healthcare, means-tested food stamps, job training and housing subsidies for adults, as well as free education, medical care and vaccines for children. Many of these aid programs have a lot of political support because they also are hidden subsidies for the many investors who create companies which can only earn profits if they pay poverty-level wages to employees.
This array of aid programs and hidden subsidies for investors also creates an incentive to demand more immigration of low-skilled people who can serve as taxpayer-funded workers, consumers, and renters.
In fact, a 2016 report by the pro-migration National Academies of Sciences admitted that each immigrant costs state and local taxpayers roughly $1,600 more per year than each immigrant generates in taxes. In total, the current annual net cost of first-generation immigrants — including the cost of educating their children — added up to $57.4 billion per year, much of which is paid by state and local taxpayers, and much of which is eventually scooped up by business, said the 2016 report.
The per-immigrant cost is roughly equal to tax surplus paid by one native-born American, which ranges from $1,300 to $1,700, says the report, titled “The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration.”
A large proportion of people from Central America, from Muslim countries, and from chain-migration programs, lack skills or even English. Also, many people who arrive with some education find their home-country education standards are far below the levels needed to prosper alone in the United States.
USCIS’ website describes the public charge law:
Under Section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), an individual seeking admission to the United States or seeking to adjust status to that of an individual lawfully admitted for permanent residence (green card) is inadmissible if the individual, “at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, is likely at any time to become a public charge.” Public charge does not apply in naturalization proceedings. If an individual is inadmissible, admission to the United States or adjustment of status is not granted.
The law says:
(4) Public charge.
(A) In general. – Any alien who, in the opinion of the consular officer at the time of application for a visa, or in the opinion of the Attorney General at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible [to the United States].
(B) Factors to be taken into account. – (i) In determining whether an alien is excludable under this paragraph, the consular officer or the Attorney General shall at a minimum consider the alien’s-
(III) family status;
(IV) assets, resources, and financial status;
(V) and education and skills.
“What we want to do is issue proper regulations … to at long last interpret what that [law] means,” Cissna said.
The regulatory process requires officials to carefully draft the regulation, and then ask the public for comments before finalizing the rule, he said. “It will take a long time to get through.”
“I’m sure we will get thousands and thousands of comments and that is fine – this is a big deal,” Cissna said.
Immigrant households consume 57 percent more food stamps than American citizen households, 33 percent more cash welfare, and 44 percent more in Medicaid dollars. This straining of public services by a booming 44 million foreign born population translates to the average immigrant household costing American taxpayers $6,234 in federal welfare.
Officials in former President Bil Clinton’s administration tried to write regulations for the public-charge law, but did not finish the job, Cissna said.
Four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs in the free market — but the government provides green cards to roughly 1 million legal immigrants and temporary work-permits to roughly 3 million foreign workers.
The Washington-imposed economic policy of economic growth via immigration shifts wealth from young people towards older people by flooding the market with cheap foreign labor. That process spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. The policy also drives up real estate prices, widens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.
The huge influx of cheap labor has helped to stall Americans’ wages since the 1970s:
Business groups and Democrats tout polls which prod Americans to declare support for migrants or the claim that the United States is a “Nation of Immigrants.” The alternative “priority or fairness” polls — plus the 2016 election — show that voters in the polling booth put a much higher priority on helping their families, neighbors, and fellow nationals get decent jobs in a high-tech, high-immigration, low-wage economy.