The Atlantic

Are Immigrants a Drain on Government Resources?

The Trump administration’s argument for denying green cards to immigrant families is based on faulty math.
Source: Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

Last weekend, the Department of Homeland Security released a draft rule change designed to make immigrating to the United States harder and the immigrant experience more fraught, impoverished, and perilous. The proposal would deny green cards to people who use popular government anti-poverty programs—ones for which they legally qualified—including food stamps, Medicaid, prescription-drug subsidies, and housing vouchers.

The rule change is an expansion of existing law, which already bars many non-citizens from accessing public aid and seeks to ensure immigrant families are self-supporting. “Those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially,” DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. The rule would “promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers.”

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