On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said that we would be asking Congress to pass legislation that bans immigrants from benefitting from public assistance the first five years they are in the U.S.
“The time has come for new immigration rules that say ... those seeking immigration into our country must be able to support themselves financially and should not use welfare for a period of at least five years," Trump said during a campaign-style rally in Grand Rapids, Iowa.
It must be noted that foreigners who are undocumented as well as those with non-immigrant visas are already barred from accessing these benefits.
The president’s proposal would build on the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which allows for the deportation of immigrants who become public dependents within five years of their arrival – a law relaxed by both the Bush and Obama administrations.
Trump's plan would also stop people who are considered "public charges" from entering the U.S. The concept allows the government to halt the entry of people who would seek public assistance while in the U.S.
Currently, states authorize who is eligible for its local public assistance programs.