New U.S. Rule Could Disqualify Half of Visa Applicants

Jorge Duenes/Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration unveiled a new rule on Monday that could deny permanent residency to hundreds of thousands of people for being too poor.

The long-anticipated rule, pushed by Trump’s leading anti-immigration aide Stephen Miller, takes effect in mid-October and would reject applicants for temporary or permanent visas for failing to meet income standards or for receiving public assistance such as welfare, food stamps, public housing or Medicaid.

Such a change would ensure that immigrants “are self-sufficient,” in that they “do not depend on public resources to meet their needs, but rather rely on their own capabilities, as well as the resources of family members, sponsors, and private organizations,” a notice published in the Federal Register said.

This could be the most drastic of all the Trump administration’s anti-immigration policies, experts have said. Advocates for immigrants have criticized the plan as an effort to cut legal immigration without going through Congress to change U.S. law.

Under the new rules, more than half of all family-based green card applicants would be denied, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a research organization. Some 800,000 green cards were granted in 2016.

The new rule is derived from the Immigration Act of 1882, which allows the U.S. government to deny a visa to anyone likely to become a “public charge.” Immigration officers in recent years have defined visa applicants as a public charge if they are likely to become primarily dependent on government assistance.

Most nonresident immigrants are ineligible for the major aid programs until they get green cards, but the new rule published by the Department of Homeland Security expands the definition of a public charge that stands to disqualify more people.

Applicants will now need to show higher levels of income to get a visa, and the rule greatly expands the list of government benefits that would disqualify them from obtaining U.S. residency.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; additional reporting by Susan Heavey and Makini Brice)

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Phyllis Softa

Otis, my paternal grandmother would have loved you. She thought Polish, Italians and Lebanese should not cook onions, garlic cabbage or grape leaves because it wasn’t “American.” She also believed immigrants should convert to be Protestants. If they did not fit her idea of “American,” then they should “Go Back.” But we loved her anyway, as I am certain your family does too. They probably shake their heads and make jokes behind your back, but still love you.


Hello community at large— this is a topic sure to generate a vigorous conversation but because of IJRs issues many responses are hidden. Please try to remember to post responses as new posts so that all may see your POV / post.

Thank you all and be safe


I do not intend to sound like an ass with some sort of ‘Mayflower’ pomposity, but part of my ancestry arrived on these shores in the 1600’s. ‘We’ were Scottish and English. One of my neighbors has researched deeply enough to find that his family was enslaved and forced over here from the Ivory Coast before slave importation was abolished. I have another friend whose family came during the potato famine in Ireland and others followed during ‘the Troubles’ many years later,and one of my best friends, sadly deceased, was of Italian descent and his family did the Ellis Island… Read more »


This is a good start, but why are uninvited invaders receiving ANY entitlements or assistance? Those are paid by and supposed to be for CITIZENS.

Guatemala’s new president-elect made the point that government should care for its own first.

This is also a great opportunity for those individuals, organizations, etc. advocating for illegals to put their money up or shut up.


I really don’t have an issue with this – if the threshold is that you’re making enough money to not rely on assistance then that makes total sense.


When my grandparents immigrated (w/ 3 kids in tow) they had to be fully sponsored by an uncle. Cosmo had to provide food, shelter and medical until such time as my grandpa could find work and do so himself.

They came, they worked, they assimilated had two more children born here (5 total) and sent most of them off to war on this country’s behalf. They did those things willingly why should today’s crop be any different?

Oh that’s right: Assimilation is a tool of the evil white man. ** MASSIVE EYE ROLL **





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