Effects of new rule targeting poor immigrants

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 15, 2019 - Duration: 02:25s

Effects of new rule targeting poor immigrants

A Trump administration plan to cut legal immigration by poor people will likely result in sicker children, more communicable diseases and greater homelessness in the United States, according to immigrant advocates and the federal government's own analysis.

Jillian Kitchener has more.

Effects of new rule targeting poor immigrants

Sicker children, an increase in communicable diseases, greater poverty and higher rates of homelessness in the United States: Those issues, according to immigration advocates and the Department of Homeland Security’s own analysis, will be the likely results of the Trump administration’s new rule aimed at curtailing legal immigration by poor people.

Acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli announced the rule on Monday: (SOUNDBITE) (English) KEN CUCCINELLI, THE ACTING DIRECTOR OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, SAYING: “Our rule generally prevents aliens who are likely to become a 'public charge' from coming to the United States ore remaining here and getting a green card." So what’s a public charge?

Reuters correspondent Daniel Trotta explains: (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT DANIEL TROTTA, SAYING: “So they are describing a public charge as, say, an individual that makes less than 125 percent of the poverty line.

That’s a factor against you, that’s a negative factor.

Likewise it’s a negative factor if you receive public assistance like food stamps.

...So people who are legally entitled are refraining from using food stamps for fear it will exclude them later on.” Shying away from social services -- like medicaid, or food stamps to buy healthy food options -- has a ripple effect.

Last year — in a notice of the proposed rule — the Department of Homeland Security said the rule could lead to an increased spread of disease, increased poverty... AND increased obesity and malnutrition, especially for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Experts say legal immigrants are already refusing social services they are entitled to... And that's stretching resources at non-profits.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT DANIEL TROTTA, SAYING: “One outreach center in Houston noticed that… there was a 20 percent decline in foods tamp participation …But demand at their food pantry was up almost 60 percent.” The federal government estimates the status of 382,000 immigrants could immediately be reviewed when the new rule takes effect Oct.


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