Draft Executive Order on means testing of legal Immigrants

The American Progress released a draft executive order which vastly expands the power of the executive branch to control legal immigration among low wage earners by using an old concept of “public charge” in the current setting, where many means tested programs are used by wage earners.

“Under the draft order, individuals who are otherwise eligible for green cards could be denied admission to the United States if they could conceivably become eligible for any kind of means-tested assistance….Under the draft order, applicants who are otherwise eligible for a green card may be denied LPR status or admission to the United States if they are deemed likely to receive any means-tested public benefit. As currently drafted, the order would even allow federal officials to deport LPRs if they receive such benefits during their first five years in the United States.”

According to the Census, among non-high school graduates, 37.3% received means-tested benefits in 2014; also, 21.6% of high school graduates participated in one of the major means-tested government assistance programs.

 

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