What to Know
- The rule change is one of the most aggressive efforts by the Trump administration to restrict legal immigration
- It's part of a push to move the U.S. to a system that focuses on immigrants' skills instead of emphasizing the reunification of families
- The rules will take effect in mid-October
The Trump administration introduced a new rule Monday making it harder for low-income immigrants who receive food stamps or other forms of taxpayer-funded assistance to stay in the country legally, NBC News reports.
The rule would require immigrants applying for a change in immigration status (like a green card) or those seeking to come here to prove that they are unlikely to ever need public assistance, and can bar immigrants who had received assistance above a certain threshold from being approved.
Pressed on whether or not the rule would undermine the words emblazoned on a plaque at the Statue of Liberty — "give me your tired, your poor" — acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli disagreed.
"This rule will cover, for USCIS, almost 400,000 a year whose applications to become legal permanent residents will include a meaningful analysis of whether they're likely to become a public charge or not. I do not think by any means we're ready to take anything off the Statue of Liberty," he said.