In another attempt to crack down on legal immigration, President Donald Trump will try to begin reinforcing a 23-year-old law that requires sponsors of green card holders to reimburse the government for welfare benefits.
Trump approved a memorandum on Thursday to make sure two provisions that were signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996 are being enforced, according to USA Today.
Enforcing the laws will make it considerably more difficult for low-income immigrants to get started in the United States and lift themselves out of poverty. 58% of all households headed by a non-citizen use at least one welfare program.
Immigration advocates called the move part of Trump’s “brutal, reckless, dangerous, inhumane agenda.”
“Trump will do anything to send immigrant families the message that if you’re not white and wealthy, you’re not welcome — or even safe — here. And he doesn’t care that children and entire families will be harmed in the process,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, and Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy in a joint statement.
This is just another step in the White House’s path to make it increasingly difficult to keep lower-income and mostly non-white immigrants out of the U.S.
Last year, administration officials announced they were enforcing a law requiring immigrants to “show they can support themselves financially.” The White House also attempted to limit housing assistance in Congress this week when Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson tried to defend his plants to evict undocumented immigrants – and their U.S.-born children – from subsidized housing.
Carson called the move “logical.”
In October, the Department of Homeland Security proposed new guidelines that would consider a larger amount of would-be immigrants a “public charge,” making it impossible for them to become legal permanent residents.