The United States may deny green cards to immigrants who have availed or may avail government benefits including food and cash assistance under new a rule, PTI reported on Sunday.
The Department of Homeland Security signed the proposed rule on Friday and published on its website a day later. According to the proposal, using food stamps, receiving Medicaid, using housing vouchers or living in public housing could make it difficult for immigrants to obtain green cards or get admitted to the US, reported Time. The rule, however, would not apply to refugees and those who have asylum in the US.
The rule would apply to those seeking visas or legal permanent residency but not people applying for US citizenship. “Under long-standing federal law, those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially,” said Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in a statement. “This proposed rule will implement a law passed by Congress intended to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers.”
According to the rule, immigrants who “seek adjustment of status or a visa, or who are applicants for admission, must establish that they are not likely at any time to become a public charge” unless determined by Congress, PTI reported.
According to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, 6.32 lakh Indians are waiting for their green cards as of April.
The overhaul is part of President Donald Trump’s efforts to limit both legal and illegal immigration, reported Reuters. On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security said it will make a decision within three months on revoking work permits to spouses of H-1B visa holders. Indians comprise around 70% of all H-1B workers in the US, many in the information technology sector.