President Donald Trump announced at a rally Wednesday night that he will ask Congress to pass legislation banning immigrants from accessing public assistance within five years of entering America.
In a campaign-style rally in Grand Rapids, Iowa, the president claimed it’s time for new immigration rules. Those who seek admission into the U.S. must be able to support themselves financially and shouldn’t use welfare during the period.
Analysts assume this proposal would build on the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA). The legislation was passed during Bill Clinton’s administration and stated that an immigrant is not eligible for any federal means-tested public benefit for five years, starting on the date the immigrant enters America.
Of course, there are some exceptions under the law as to what can be considered as this type of public benefit. Some of these include in-kind emergency disaster relief, public health assistances for some vaccines, and certain medical assistance. PRWORA also allows federal officials to deport any immigrant who becomes dependent on welfare within five years of their arrival.
Nowadays, each state has the authority to determine eligibility for local public assistance programs. In fact, foreigners who don’t have a legal status and those with non-immigrant visas are generally prohibited from those benefits altogether.While former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama rolled back most of that law’s provisions, Trump’s proposals would make more categories of federal benefits off-limits to every immigrant.
Apparently, Trump’s proposal would additionally prevent the admission of people who could become “public charges” within five years of their arrival. This label has been part of the U.S. immigration law for over a century. It allows the government to ban entry to anyone who is likely to seek for public assistance. Trump’s plan would toughen up the rules.
In fact, the Trump administration already circulated a draft of an executive order to make his proposed changes earlier this year. Basically, the president is betting a lot on this issue and he’s willing to get it done as fast as possible. But nevertheless, the remarks he made during the Grand Rapids’ rally clearly indicate he wants Congress to codify his plan into law.
Apparently, the White House will cite a 2015 report from the Center for Immigration Study in requesting these essential changes. This report revealed that 51 percent of households headed by an immigrant are using some kind of public assistant compared to 30 percent among non-immigrants families in America.
While experts have approved this report, it has also been disputed by critics who say that it doesn’t take into account the nuances of many immigrant families across the U.S.
While this announcement will reinforce Trump’s bases’ loyalty, it could also create a total mayhem in the Democratic party. Naturally, they would probably go to the victimist narrative in order to discredit the administration.
The left will likely execute a serious campaign to show why Trump’s plan is discriminatory and to slam him as a racist. In fact, it is quite possible that the liberal mainstream media will also play a role in this operation and start showing statistics that reveal how most immigrants actually don’t take from the taxpayers.
Believe it or not, that could actually be extremely beneficial for President Trump.If it is actually true that most immigrants don’t apply for public assistance then there shouldn’t be any issue with Trump pressing for this law.
If every immigrant is honestly working and contributing to the country, making a huge campaign against Trump would be political suicide. Especially after Ossoff’s defeat in the special election, where the Democratic party failed miserably by using the anti-Trump narrative.
With a Republican-dominated Congress about to enter the 2018 elections, President Trump could have a unique opportunity to materialize significant changes, repair Obama’s biggest mistakes, and start to build a stronger popularity base for a possible reelection in four years.