It’s no secret that migrating to the US is complex and burdensome, but Trump has now announced plans (in a complicated 837 page administration policy) to clamp down on the immigration process by denying green cards, the path to citizenship, for poorer immigrants.
US Immigration law currently provides that immigrants may be denied a green card if they are likely to become a “public charge”, that is, wind up dependent on the government. However, under Trump’s proposal due to take effect on October 15, what constitutes a “public charge” will be redefined to capture anyone who has received, or is judged more likely than not to receive in the future, almost any need-based public benefit.
This dramatic change to long-standing US immigration policy will apply irrespective of the immigrant’s particular circumstances including whether they are working, their spouse is working or where they are simply between jobs.
These changes are set to skew immigration to the US in favour of the wealthy, those in high paying jobs and those that are highly skilled.
It is predicted that these changes will see a drastic reduction in family-based immigration, particularly from areas such as Latin America and Africa, where incomes are on average lower than other parts of the world. This may also lead to an increase in deportations as those who are in the US who seek to apply for a green card but are caught by the expanded definition proposed by President Trump will be denied a green card and forced to leave.
Those opposing these changes are concerned that many impending immigrants will choose to go without certain necessities such as food or medical care simply in the hope that they will not lessen their chances of obtaining permanent residency by accepting government benefits.
We are closely watching the proposed changes and welcome any enquiries for those concerned.
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