Trump’s new rule to punish immigrants just shows how bad American jobs are

In announcing a controversial new policy designed to prevent immigrants from becoming a burden to taxpayers, Trump administration officials said they were trying to uphold the very American principle of self-sufficiency. Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, went so far as to claim that the new rule clarifies the meaning of the famous Emma Lazarus poem on the Statue of Liberty. He told NPR last month that the motto is best summarized as, “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”

There has long been a provision in immigration law designed to weed out applicants for citizenship who are likely to become dependent on the state — to become “public charges,” in officialese. The previous rule focused on whether immigrants made use of public cash assistance, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or required subsidized long-term care. The new rule radically expands the list of programs that legal immigrants can be penalized for using to include food stamps, Medicaid and housing vouchers, among other things.

The Washington Post