New Delhi: As per a new study by the Urban Institute, Immigrants in the United States and their families are not opting essential welfare benefits like public housing, food stamps and Medicare over fear of persecution.
One in seven immigrants avoided public benefit programs in 2018 out of concern they would risk their future green card status, the Urban Institute found in a report out Wednesday morning.
Last week, President Donald Trump proposed changing the nation’s legal immigration system to limit green cards given to migrants who rely on welfare benefits or who are not financially independent. Instead, the president said he would prioritize well-off citizen-seekers with job offers or job creation ideas.
Trump claims that migrants abuse the welfare system have been augmented since the 2016 election. In October 2018, the Trump administration proposed a rule change that would make it easier to remove from the country migrants who rely on public benefits like food stamps. The rule is currently being finalized. These policy changes and the president’s rhetoric have had a chilling effect on migrant’s use of aid, The Urban Institute found.
The study said, “It is reasonable to expect that chilling effects will likely expand further if the rule is implemented, the confusion and fear around when and how the proposed public charge rule could be finalized and who it would affect appear to be leading to spill over, extending beyond people directly affected by the rule, who have not yet applied for green cards and will receive the revised public charge test when they do.”