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By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Stephen Miller (Image source: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons)
White House senior adviser Stephen Miller has a new plan for immigrants. Nothing the Trump administration has done so far has been successful at limiting the number of immigrants in the country, and at this point it seems like they're just going to keep trying until they find a solution that does limit immigrants. Miller wants to add more restrictions on those applying for a green card.
DACA is still being fought over in the courts, separating migrant families who cross the border didn't go over too well either and didn't work anyway, and Donald Trump has failed to ever get the funding he needs to start the border wall, as Mexico definitely isn't paying for it.
In the coming weeks the administration is expected to introduce a new proposal. This will place limitations on immigrants looking to obtain green cards who have used government assistance, including Obamacare, according to four sources with knowledge.
This plan is the brainchild of Stephen Miller, a senior advisor to the president. He was a press secretary early on, then started working for Jeff Sessions when he was still a senator, writing several of his speeches about a proposed immigration reform bill.
Miller joined the Trump campaign as a senior policy advisor and often spoke on behalf of his campaign. He was then named Senior Advisor to the President after Trump was elected and was charged with setting all immigration policy.
This new plan of Miller's will not need congressional approval, though the details are still being finalized. A recent draft described that legal immigrants who have used Obamacare, children's health insurance, food stamps, and other benefits would find a more difficult time getting their green cards.
Immigration lawyers, advocates, and public health researchers have said this will be the most the legal immigration system has changed in many years with the belief that more than 20 million immigrants could be affected, making it particularly difficult for immigrants whose jobs don't pay them enough to support their families. Even if they earn 250 percent of the poverty level, they could still be rejected for their green cards.
The plan has made its last stop before being published as a rule in the federal register by being sent tot he White House Office of Management and Budget.
"The administration is committed to enforcing existing immigration law, which is clearly intended to protect the American taxpayer by ensuring that foreign nationals seeking to enter or remain in the U.S. are self-sufficient," said a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security.
"Any proposed changes would ensure that the government takes the responsibility of being good stewards of taxpayer funds seriously and adjudicates immigration benefit requests in accordance with the law."
With the Trump administration working to decrease the number of immigrants obtaining legal status in the U.S., the data from the first quarter of the 2018 fiscal year shows a 20 percent decline in green cards that were granted.
However, the data for the first two quarters of the 2018 fiscal year shows that the number of immigrants obtaining naturalized citizenship changed little from former President Barack Obama's last year in office.
Michael Bars, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokesperson said that the agency "evaluates all applications fairly, efficiently, and effectively on a case-by-case basis."
"Contrary to open borders advocates, immigration attorneys, and activists," he continued, "USCIS has not changed the manner in which applications for naturalization have been adjudicated, as the law generally requires that an eligible applicant must have been properly admitted for permanent residence in order to become a U.S. citizen.
"We reject the false and inaccurate claims of those who would rather the U.S. turn a blind eye to cases of illegal immigration, fraud, human trafficking, gang activity, and drug proliferation at the expense of public safety, the integrity of our laws, and their faithful execution."
The Trump administration would need to redefine the term "public charge" for this plan. It was first introduced in immigration law in the 1800s as a way to protect the U.S. from being burdened with too many immigrants who would not be able to contribute to society. That term was used again by the Clinton administration in 1999.
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