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Trump Proposal: No Green Cards for Immigrants on Welfare

President Donald Trump wants to build a wall around the border – and around the welfare state.

Illegal immigration does pose a major cost to the American taxpayer, mostly through the cost of educating any legal-children they give birth to on U.S. soil. Even after accounting to the federal state/local taxes illegal immigrants do pay (such as sales tax, income tax paid through employment with stolen social security numbers, etc.), illegals still waste $116 billion in tax dollars annually.

But it’s not just illegal immigrants putting a cost on taxpayers. About 51% of immigrant-led households receive at least one kind of welfare benefit, including Medicaid, food stamps, school lunches, and housing assistance, compared to 30% for native-led households. The overwhelming amount of that usage is from immigrants from Latin America, where usage is lowest among immigrants from Asia and Europe. I mention their countries of origin only because the skill-profile of immigrants differs among countries. Immigrants from Europe and Asia tend to be high skilled immigrants to begin with, while immigrants from Latin America tend to be lower skilled.

To combat that problem while still allowing for low skilled immigration, Trump floated the idea of a five-year wait to receive welfare for new immigrants last year. Progress is finally being made on that proposal – and a much stricter version of it could become policy.

As Zero Hedge reported, “the Department of Homeland Security published a 447-page proposal on Saturday outlining its plans to expand restrictions that would disqualify legal immigrants from obtaining a green card if they rely too heavily on Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers and other forms of public assistance. According to US law, applicants must prove they won’t become a “public charge” – that they wouldn’t derive more than half their income from government programs – to achieve green-card status. Under the proposal, the federal government would begin factoring in non-monetary benefits like food stamps and Section 8 housing benefits.”

The rule wouldn’t need to be approved by Congress, so Democrats can’t block this common sense proposal. For as strict as liberals like to paint our immigration system, requiring our immigrants to be able to support yourself is a bare minimum. While our immigration system is among the most complex in the world, it’s also the most generous in who it allows in. Canada makes for a perfect comparison in showing how our immigration system gives preference to prospective immigrants with families in the U.S., while Canada gives preference to skilled immigrants:

  • In 2015, 24.09 percent of Canada’s new permanent residents were family-sponsored immigrants, while 64.6 percent of the United States’ new permanent residents were family-sponsored immigrants.
  • In Canada, immigrant admissions based on employment skills accounted for 58 percent of new immigrants in 2017, while U.S. admissions for employment skills accounted for less than 14 percent of lawful permanent resident admissions.

And if we’re going to compare the U.S. to how Mexico deals with their illegal immigration problem, we look weak on immigration by contrast. Mexico has doubled their deportations of Central-American illegals over the past year, and deports more than we do in the U.S..

For as much flak as liberals love to give our “cruel” immigration system, it’s still a heck of a lot more generous and humane than the immigration systems of most of the developed countries, who’ve already implemented the sort of “common sense” immigration controls we should’ve added decades ago.