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New Trump Rule Will Penalize Immigrants Using Public Benefits

The Primary: A new Trump rule (heads up, it's 837 pages long) will penalize immigrants using or seeking to use public benefits like food stamps or Medicaid.

  • Who? What? Why?: Beginning in October, the U.S. will apply a wealth test to immigrants entering the country. The government will turn away those that they determine cannot support themselves and rely on government welfare programs. The rule will make it much harder for lower income immigrants to migrate to U.S.

  • The Baseline: The move is the latest step in the administration’s effort to reshape the country's immigration system. Trump is in favor of a so-called "merit-based" immigration where more-wealthy, higher-educated immigrants are given preference. In the past year, immigrants fearing this new rule have unregistered from federal nutrition programs.

  • From the Left: Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post argues the rule changes prove the Trump administration has "one guiding North Star"and that's "punitive and often sadistic treatment of nonwhite immigrants." Trump "lied" – he doesn't support legal immigration. The move will bar hard working immigrants that are "productive member[s] of society" who pay their taxes.

  • From the Right: Mark Krikorian of the National Review writes in favor of the rule changes. To Krikorian, the rule change is common sense and comes down to two things: "Foreigners who can’t pay their bills shouldn’t be allowed to move here, and “welfare” doesn’t just mean cash benefits."

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