The Department of Homeland Security has reportedly drafted new rules that would make it more difficult for U.S. immigrants who receive public benefits to become permanent residents—even if the services were used for a U.S. citizen child, according to a document obtained by Reuters.
“Non-citizens who receive public benefits are not self-sufficient and are relying on the U.S. government and state and local entities for resources instead of their families, sponsors or private organizations,” the document reads. “An alien’s receipt of public benefits comes at taxpayer expense and availability of public benefits may provide an incentive for aliens to immigrate to the United States.”
The wire service reported that the government could look at, for instance, whether applicants for permanent residency had placed their children in government preschools, obtained subsidies for health insurance—either for themselves or their children—or accessed food stamps.
“The rules would not apply to permanent residents applying for citizenship, but would apply to a wide range of people living or working in the United States, including close family members of U.S. citizens and workers employed by U.S. companies,” Reuters wrote.
The proposal on schooling is particularly cruel. Research shows that providing a high-quality education for kids before they reach kindergarten drastically helps close achievement gaps for children of immigrants, who make up the fastest-growing group of children in the country.
Even if the rules are not officially enacted, rumors can spread and cause people to stop sending their kids to school. Pre-schoolers would have to worry about losing their parents. Parents would worry about whether to stay in the country. More fear would be sent through immigrant communities. In other words, it’s a classic Donald Trump policy.