Policy Updates

This is an  update to USRESIST NEWS Immigration Policy  Brief 77 concerning Trump’s desire to limit green cards and visas from individuals who are deemed likely to need government benefits. Under the Department of Homeland Security’s new rule, factors such as age, health, education and household income will also play a role in decision making.

The Supreme Court recently issued an order to allow the Trump Administration to begin enforcing new limits on immigrants who are deemed likely to become overly dependent on government benefit programs, with a vote of 5-4 for. Anyone who would be likely to require a broad range of help for more than 1-year in a 3-year period could be denied a visa. Individuals who are regarded as likely to need either non-cash benefits (like food stamps, Medicaid or housing vouchers) or cash benefits can be turned away. The Trump Administration claimed this is a necessary step in order to promote the American ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility, to ensure immigrants are able to support themselves and become successful in the US.


The Trump Administration has increasingly put forth measures to villainize immigrants as people who drain US resources.. This is in theory, a spin on the Administration’s earlier attempt to focus allocation of Green Cards to wealthier migrants who have resumes and bank statements to prove they will not need any assistance in contributing to the US economy, work force, etc. Yet again, the White House is attempting to put a price tag on immigration.

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Protect Democracy: a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to fighting domestic and international attacks to free, fair and fully formed self-government
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.
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