In August 2018, Stephen Miller in the Trump Administration drafted a policy to deny US citizenship and legal permanent residency to immigrants who don’t have high income standards or who depend on federal benefits, including Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act, childcare, food stamps, and public housing. Considered a deliberate act to axe the number of legal immigrants in the United States, Stephen Miller’s immigration policy, which was supposed to be enforced starting October 2019, has come into effect on February 24, 2020. The ‘Stephen Miller Policy’ will be enforced in a phased manner and is expected to affect over 20 million immigrants, according to NBC News.
Stephen Miller is a White House senior adviser and one of President Trump’s leading aides. The new policy is part of his plan to curtail the number of legal immigrants seeking green cards or US citizenship every year. To say in precise terms, Stephen Miller’s draft policy would make it more difficult for immigrants to become legal residents or citizens if they or their dependents have ever used the US public welfare programs like Obamacare, Children’s Health Insurance Program and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Immigrants in the United States, who used Social Security programs or received cash welfare payments from the government in the past, have already been denied legal status. The new version of White House adviser Stephen Miller’s plan which the Washington Post made public in February 2018 broadens the ambit of federal aid to extend denial of legal status to a maximum number of immigrants in America.
Foreign nationals claiming income tax credit or receiving health insurance subsidies would be brought into the ambit of the White House proposal. If an immigrant’s household income is as much as 250% of the poverty level in the US, he or she would be penalized with denial of legal status given the exclusion of federal benefits in the new draft policy.
Considered the “biggest change to the US legal immigration system in decades,” the proposal for denial of legal status would make it harder for those making an insufficient living, to support their families if they choose legal status over the federal benefits. Immigrants like Louis Charles, a Haitian green card holder who depends on the federal aid to provide for his disabled adult daughter in spite of working 80 hours a week as a nursing assistant, would suffer, according to NBC News reports.
NBC News quoted the Department of Homeland Security’s spokesperson, “The administration is bound to its commitment to enforcing the existing immigration law, which is undoubtedly meant to protect the interests of American taxpayers by ensuring that foreign nationals seeking to enter or stay in the US are self-sufficient.”
However, Cato Institute, a libertarian think-tank contradicts the above statement on the basis of its recent studies that immigrants use the federal aid lesser than US natives by 39%. Immigrants paid more medical expenses than what they withdrew from the government, according to a report that the international journal of health services published on August 8, 2018.
Four immigrant attorneys in California, Virginia, Tennessee and Massachusetts said on a condition of anonymity that there is an increase in the number of their clients whose petitions for naturalized citizenship and legal permanent residency have been rejected. The process to get green cards or gain citizenship became a lot more difficult through a series of immigration reforms even before Stephen Miller drafted his immigration policy.
Self-sufficiency is the keynote of Stephen Miller’s immigration policy which the US citizens, asylum seekers and border refugees are exempted from.
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