Society

Trump Considering Order That Would Significantly Restrict, Deport Welfare-Dependent Refugees

| by Oren Peleg

While the executive order signed Jan. 27 by President Donald Trump to restrict immigration may have sparked domestic and international protests, it may be just the first step, as the Trump administration is now circulating drafts of further immigration restrictions.

Now, President Trump is reportedly considering a plan to identify potential immigrants who will require public assistance and deport immigrants currently living in the United States who are able to work but have opted not to. 

According to the Washington Post:

The administration would be seeking to “deny admission to any alien who is likely to become a public charge” and to develop standards for “determining whether an alien is deportable . . . for having become a public charge within five years of entry” — receiving a certain amount of public assistance, including food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Medicaid.

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“Our country’s immigration laws are designed to protect American taxpayers and promote immigrant self-sufficiency. Yet households headed by aliens are much more likely than those headed by citizens to use Federal ­means-tested public benefits,” a draft of possible new restrictions reads, according to the Washington Post. The draft is titled “Executive Order on Protecting Taxpayer Resources by Ensuring Our Immigration Laws Promote Accountability and Responsibility.”

A second executive order draft, this one titled  “Executive Order on Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Worker Visa Programs,” seeks to limit "job magnets" that attract illegal immigrants to the U.S.

“The unlawful employment of aliens has had a devastating impact on the wages and jobs of American workers, especially low-skilled, teenage, and African American and Hispanic workers,” the draft reads.

“He’s loaded his anti-immigrant Uzi and is firing off another round,” said Angela Maria Kelley, from the left-leaning Center for American Progress. “This time he’s aiming at U.S. citizen kids who have an undocumented parent, and depending how broad the reach of his order, he could deport kids who have received reduced lunches in school. It’s stunning the depth of disruption and chaos he seems hellbent on inflicting on our communities.”

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Some conservative experts oppose the immigration restrictions.

“The overwhelming consensus in the economics academic literature is that immigrants add more to the economy than they take, they create more jobs for Americans, and they are a net benefit to the American economy,” explained Alex Nowrasteh with the right-leaning, Koch brothers-funded Cato Institue. “When you compare poor immigrants to poor natives, poor immigrants are less likely to use welfare, and when they do, the dollar value of the benefits they use is lower.”

But Trump does not have antagonistic views of all immigrants and their place in the American fabric.

"I feel strongly about this,” Trump said in 2015 on Steve Bannon's radio show, notes The New Yorker. “When someone’s going to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Penn, Stanford, all the greats, and they graduate, and not only graduate but do great, and we throw them out of the country and they can’t get back in, I think that’s terrible. We’ve got to be able to keep great people in the country. We’ve got to create job creators.”

Trump then described an Indian immigrant who went to Harvard University and wanted to stay in the U.S. to create a company. He was unable to stay and returned to India, where he is now a successful businessman. 

“He wanted to do that here," Trump continued. "We have to be careful of that, Steve. We have to keep our talented people in this country."

Sources: Washington Post, The New Yorker / Photo Credit: Sean Spicer/Twitter

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