Trump administration issues new rules to deny green cards for immigrants on food stamps
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Trump administration rules that could deny green cards to immigrants who use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance are going into effect, potentially making it more difficult for some to become U.S. citizens.
Federal law already requires those seeking green cards and legal status to prove they will not be a burden to the United States, or what's called a "public charge," but the new rules, made public on Monday, detail a broader range of programs that could disqualify them.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers will now weigh public assistance along with other factors such as education, household income and health to determine whether to grant legal status.
Much of President Donald Trump's effort to crack down on illegal immigration has been in the spotlight, but the rule change is one of the most aggressive efforts to restrict legal immigration. It's part of a push to move the U.S. to a system that focuses on immigrants' skills instead of emphasizing the reunification of families, as it has done.
The rules will take effect in mid-October. They don't apply to U.S. citizens, even if the U.S. citizen is related to an immigrant who is subject to them.