It’s time to step back from the teeming masses climbing freshly erected barbed-wire fences and all the vitriol from the left about what big, bad meanies the president and conservatives are for not wanting poor people flowing across our border. Immigration is such an unholy mess in this country it’s challenging to bring some light into a conversation where heat generally prevails. Nevertheless, we shall sally forth and, in this article, discuss a possible change in issuing green cards.
Earlier this fall, the Department of Homeland Security advanced a new set of guidelines that would expand the green card test to identify just how likely applicants will be to use public benefits. In short, will they be a net positive to our country or a drain on our welfare system?
This is not a novel idea. The United States has a long and ever-evolving tradition of toying with this “public charge” test. For instance, at the turn of the 20th Century, immigrants needed to show they had $25 in their pocket. Migration waxed and waned over the years, making the requirements for a green card more and then less demanding until 1996. That’s when considerations like health, education, and age were added to the equation.
That means this latest effort by DHS is part of a trend that has spanned decades, but of course, when the Trump Administration puts something like this forward, it is an act of hate and bigotry. Thus, applying some logic to an emotional powder keg brought forth the lefties in full force. Here’s just one example from the Honorable Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who stated in a press release:
“[The proposal] represents a slap in the face to the very immigrants—those who are legally present and have followed the rules—that President Trump and Republicans in Congress claim to support … [Trump] seeks to distract Americans from this legacy by fueling racial resentment and division with his constant attacks on minorities and immigrants. The proposed rule is simply the latest step in this strategy, and we should not fall for it.”
An extensive policy brief by the Migration Policy Institute assessed this proposed rule change by DHS and found that “few immigrants would likely be denied green cards … because most lawfully present immigrants who do not yet have green cards are ineligible for these [welfare] benefits.” The MPI study notes that the new requirements “give immigration officials broad discretion to deny the green-card applications of individuals ‘likely’ to use specified benefits in the future.”
Here are a few of their conclusions:
- There would be a shift away from Mexican and Central American immigrants in favor of Europeans.
- Fewer lower-skilled workers and more highly skilled workers would be favored.
- 69% of [current] green-card applicants would be assessed as having at least one negative factor for approval.
- 43% would have two or more negative factors for approval.
So, when you get to the bottom of this DHS proposal, what we could be looking at is accepting those who will contribute to our society rather than those who are a drain on our welfare system. For shame. And DHS points out something the left refuses to admit:
“The United States continues to be a global leader in humanitarian protection. In calendar year 2017, the United States granted asylum and refugee status to more individuals than Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom combined. By statute, asylees, refugees, and other categories of vulnerable individuals are not subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility and as such are not impacted by this rule.”
Thus, the big lie is that the United States, under the Trump administration, is becoming the Grinch of green card immigration. It’s a nice leftist narrative, sure to bring radicals into the streets with Soros-paid-for placards, but it isn’t accurate, nor is it a fair assessment of the situation.
But then again, when did facts ever matter to the left?