Trump Administration Seems Set To Change Rules Midstream For Legal Immigrants
The Objective: Making It Harder For Them To Stay Even If They’re Working And Doing Everything By The Book Til Now…
NBC News reported this week the Trump Administration is aggressively pursuing massive changes to legal immigration, to supplement its crackdown on illegal immigration. Back in February Reuters reported the idea was being kicked around. (Which we told you about at the time). Now it appears it’s close to finalized and formally introduced. At very least, the Trump Administration apparently feels like it’s high time to float the idea again and see what kind of reaction they get.
Now, U.S. Immigration policy for years has mandated people who are likely to become “public charges” should not be granted permanent residence. So what’s all the fuss about? How is what Trump’s proposing any different?
Because the new Trump Administration rules would be applied not just to layabouts and unstable individuals, who would be “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence”. They’d also be used to deny applications from many legal immigrants who are productively employed, often times in multiple jobs. But might’ve sent their kids to a government-funded preschool. Or gotten food stamps from time-to-time. Or enrolled their kid in a public health program. The Trump Administration would not differentiate.
They would also not “grandfather in” legal immigrants who are already here by making the new rules applicable only to immigrants who enter the country legally in the future. So it could well mean someone who’s been here for years and thought they were doing everything right, will all of a sudden — through no fault of their own (except perhaps trying to do their best by their family) — find they weren’t.
Never mind that many of the jobs filled by legal immigrants are low-paying positions that Americans by-and-large don’t want, and those jobs abound in expensive urban areas. In many cases, even working multiple jobs, cost of living is so high compared to salary, there’s no option but to rely on public assistance of some kind to make ends meet.
And why should those workers be penalized for accessing government health care programs for their children for instance if they’re legal and most of the time even paying taxes (as any immigrant is generally required to do if they spend more than 183 days in the U.S. in a single year)?
In addition, as the Conservative Cato Institute points out, legal immigrants typically view those programs as a last resort and as a result use them much less, and at far lower dollar amounts than non-immigrant citizens. In addition, Cato details just how difficult it is already for legal immigrants to access these types of services and benefits in the first place.
The ironic thing is that with a booming economy and full employment (or close) there’s even more demand for these workers, not less. So the Trump Administration could well be shooting itself and business owners in the foot. The fact this radical policy is seriously being promoted anyway illustrates it’s just so Important to people within the White House, even though it goes so far beyond what Trump said he was going to do, focusing mostly on keeping bad hombres on the other side of the border. We’ve been warning you this would happen all along, and you probably knew anyway.
Then again, there’s an election coming up, and measured by volume of Tweets alone, Trump clearly thinks he’s got a winner in his continued assertions that Democrats “want to abolish ICE” and “want open borders”. So it could be he sees an assault on legal immigrants as valuable politically, even if it might temporarily hurt the economy.
And of course, immigration with this administration is a very slippery slope. As we’ve already seen vividly and sometimes horrifically. Next on the agenda seems to be denying birthright citizenship to children born in the U.S. to immigrant parents. That effort is already well underway. That dramatic a change would seem to require an amendment to the Constitution. But it might not if courts agree with an argument emerging in Trump friendly-circles: that the 14th Amendment was really only about providing citizenship to freed slaves after the Civil War, and was never meant to apply to actual “foreigners”. That’s despite the fact that all the 14th Amendment actually says is “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.” Seems pretty clear. Especially for all the “originalist” judges Trump is so gung-ho about appointing. Right?
But of course so many things which we thought were clear are turning out not to be these days…