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Trump administration proposal would make it easier to deport immigrants who use public benefits

Baku, May 6, AZERTAC

The Trump administration is considering reversing long-standing policy to make it easier to deport U.S. legal permanent residents who have used public benefits, part of an effort to restrict immigration by low-income people, according to Reuters.

A Department of Justice draft regulation, seen by Reuters, dramatically expands the category of people who could be subject to deportation on the grounds that they use benefits.

Currently, those legal permanent residents who are declared to be a “public charge,” or primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, can be deported - but in practice, this is very rare.

The draft regulation would use a more expansive definition to include some immigrants who have used an array of public benefits, including cash welfare, food stamps, housing aid, or Medicaid.

While the plan is at an early stage, might not become official government policy, and is likely to attract lawsuits, it is one part of efforts by the Trump administration to restrict legal immigration, in addition to its efforts to reduce illegal immigration to the United States.

The full possible impact is not known, but the change in policy could affect permanent residents - also known as “green card” holders - who are legally entitled to use public benefits soon after their arrival in the United States, such as refugees.

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