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DHS proposal would deny green cards to burdensome immigrants

A proposal under consideration by the Trump administration could make it more difficult for poor immigrants in Texas and around the country to obtain green cards. The Department of Homeland Security has released a draft policy that would allow immigration officers to consider public benefits, like SNAP, home heating assistance, Medicaid and government pre-school programs, when evaluating applications for permanent residence. Those considered likely to become burdensome would be barred from permanently living and working legally in the United States under the proposed rules.

Immigration has been a hot-button issue for President Trump, and his administration has voiced concerns over the amount of taxpayer money being allocated to take care of those seeking new lives in America. Groups including the Center for Immigration Studies and the Heritage Foundation have echoed these sentiments, and they say that the DHS draft policy would encourage those seeking green cards to be self-sufficient and work harder to achieve their goals.

However, advocacy groups have branded the proposal as thinly-veiled racism, and they have accused the administration of trying to exclude immigrants that they find undesirable. They also point out that in addition to denying the poor of potentially life-saving public assistance, the measures would endanger thousands of American-born children. Doctors in disadvantaged communities with significant immigrant communities report that as many as half of their patients rely on Medicaid to cover their health care costs.

Attorneys familiar with U.S. immigration law could explain to those seeking permanent residence in the United States how green cards may be awarded based on employment, marriage or family ties. However, waiting periods are long and the application process can seem daunting. Attorneys could help to improve the chances of success by ensuring that all forms are completed properly and accompanied by supporting documents.

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