News & Politics

The Trump Administration Has a Cruel New Plan to Punish Immigrants

Officials could make it that much harder to achieve permanent residency.

Photo Credit: GrAl / Shutterstock

The Trump administration is chaotic, incompetent and corrupt, but above all, it is sadistic. For months, the president and his Republican enablers in Congress have left the futures of Dreamers in limbo. Now, officials are reportedly considering a proposal that would make it more difficult for all immigrants to achieve permanent residency.

According to an exclusive report from Reuters, the Department of Homeland Security has drafted a new set of rules that would empower immigration authorities to deny legal status to any applicant who has benefited from a government-funded program. Infractions can include anything from food purchased with food stamps to subsidies for utility bills or health insurance premiums. 

“Non-citizens who receive public benefits are not self-sufficient and are relying on the U.S. government and state and local entities for resources instead of their families, sponsors or private organizations,” the document claims. “An alien’s receipt of public benefits comes at taxpayer expense and availability of public benefits may provide an incentive for aliens to immigrate to the United States.”

If implemented, the plan could affect hundreds of thousands of people, many of them the family members of U.S. citizens. The new rules would also mark a reversal of guidelines that have been in place for two decades barring federal authorities from "considering non-cash benefits in deciding a person’s eligibility to immigrate to the United States or stay in the country," per the Reuters report.

For an administration that has made virtually no effort to mask its racism and xenophobia, these latest restrictions are all of a piece. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently told Fox News anchor and alt-right darling Tucker Carlson that the United States has no use for "somebody who is illiterate in their own country." Prior to that, Trump dismissed Haiti and several African nations as "sh*tholes," drawing the opprobrium of the international community. Meanwhile, arrests of non-criminal immigrants in the U.S. were up 250 percent in 2017.

H/T Reuters

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Jacob Sugarman is the acting managing editor at Truthdig.