Stephen Miller and Donald Trump want Americans to associate all immigrants – even legal immigrants – with crime, with “taking our jobs,” and with “taking advantage of the system,” i.e., depending on public assistance (“welfare”). And to ensure that all bases are covered regarding the definition of public assistance (and thus, the idea that immigrants are taking advantage of the system), White House immigration czar Miller has proposed a policy that would broaden the scope of what counts as public assistance. Then, Stephen Miller’s policy would make it harder for legal immigrants who have received any public benefits to obtain U.S. citizenship.
It has already been a longstanding U.S. policy to deny citizenship to applicants who are expected to be dependent solely on welfare, but Stephen Miller’s policy, with its much wider definition of “government assistance” – makes it much easier and more convenient to deny citizenship, even to legal immigrants, based on welfare “dependency.”
Though legal immigrants wouldn’t be denied benefits, their use of any that are on Stephen Miller’s list would count against them. In this case, “government assistance” stretches to include not only Medicaid and food stamps, but also programs such as ACA (Obamacare) health care subsidies and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Under the guise of concern for American taxpayer dollars, Stephen Miller and the Trump administration claim that immigrants are a drain on the system. The reality, however, is that immigrants, according to a study by the Cato Institute, “are less likely to consume welfare benefits and, when they do, they generally consume a lower dollar value of benefits than native-born Americans.”
Another reality is that most Americans, not just immigrants, have benefited in some way from what Stephen Miller now wants to define as “welfare.” One example is the Earned Income Tax Credit. Another example is the tax-deductible aspect of our health insurance, even if we get it from our employer (the government is actually paying part of the premium by making it tax-deductible).
So, even if a legal immigrant is legitimately working and paying taxes, if he or she has taken a tax deduction on even employee-provided health insurance, or claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit, Stephen Miller and his proposed policy may be coming for them.
Frank Sharry, Executive director of America’s Voice, a pro-immigrant group, says, “Trump and Miller have concluded that the best 2018 political strategy is a divisive and desperate three-step: 1) do something cruel to immigrants; 2) sit back as Democrats, the fact-based media and the majority of Americans denounce the cruelty; 3) step in and claim that the President is standing up for his white base and against ‘the other’ while working to define Democrats as doing the opposite,” Sharry said. “They did this on DACA. They did this on family separation. Now they are planning to do the same on public charge.”
The Trump administration continues to think of innovative ways to purge the U.S. of immigrants. Stephen Miller and his ilk show little interest in what is ethical or lawful regarding the issue, and now it seems that since they can’t use existing laws to deport all groups of immigrants, they’re willing to make something up so that even legal immigrants will fail at becoming full Americans.
Trump Administration Continues Its War On Immigrants | All In | MSNBC [2018-08-07]
Trump plans to make the Citizenship application for legal immigrants harder | Attorney Shah Peerally [2018-08-07]