The Trump administration will ramp up its war on immigrants in the coming weeks with a proposal to make it more difficult for even immigrants who entered the U.S. legally to become citizens or obtain green cards if they ever used government assistance programs or Obamacare, NBC News reported on Tuesday.
While the final details are still being ironed out, a draft of the proposal seen by and described to NBC would make the road to obtaining legal status much harder if the applicant or anyone in their household ever benefited from the use of Obamacare, children’s health insurance, food stamps, and other benefits.
It’s nearly impossible to read about the proposal—which advocates told the network would constitute the biggest change to the immigration system in decades and could affect at least 20 million immigrants—and ascribe any other motive than abject cruelty and racism. And whenever you hear about a particularly cruel immigration crackdown coming from the White House, you can bet adviser Stephen Miller’s fingerprints are all over it. (As NBC noted, this is an updated iteration of a plan crafted by Miller to target immigrants who used government aid which was first reported by Reuters back in February.)
The NBC report doesn’t make clear how any of this would work. It’s particularly unclear how using Obamacare would incriminate immigrants—would any immigrant who bought insurance through the exchange be targeted? I have reached out to the White House for comment on this and the report in general and will update if I hear back.
The news of Trump’s last immigration crackdown mandating family separations at the border—which was followed by public outrage and then a rollback—has just barely left national news. Hundreds of children remain in custody. Yet apparently for the Trump administration, now might be the moment for yet another wave of anti-immigration rules. It never seems to end.