The US administration presented Monday a measure to deny the granting of visas and temporary resident card to people who do not have sufficient income or receiving social benefits, food stamps, housing assistance or Medicaid coverage. The measure, which was developed by Stephen Miller, Donald Trump's advisor, will come into effect on October 15 and will affect several hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged people.
The National Immigrant Justice Center (NILC) immediately announced that it would challenge this measure in court, claiming that it was motivated by racial discrimination. The measure is part of Trump's policy to limit legal and illegal immigration, a question he intends to place at the center of the campaign for his re-election in 2020.
837 pages document
According to experts, this 837-page document is the most draconian of all the measures taken by the current US administration since it took office as an immigration maitere. This new rule is based on the Immigration Act of 1882, which allows the US government to refuse a visa to anyone who may become a “public office”.
Most immigrants entering the United States are not eligible for social assistance programs until they have obtained a resident permit, the “green card” that sets their legal status. But the new measure unveiled by the Trump administration expands the notion of “public office” to include more recipients of social assistance.
The “public office” now covers any migrant who receives one or more social benefits for more than twelve months over a period of thirty-six months. The count of these benefits is cumulative: two benefits received in the same month are now considered as two months of social assistance, for example.
The definition of public aid is also broadened and encompasses virtually all Medicaid benefits (health coverage for low-income people, about 74 million Americans) as well as a large number of housing benefits.