Rep. Glenn Grothman, a Wisconsin Republican, proposed this month the Smarter Plan for Immigrant Welfare bill to increase guidelines for eligibility for any kind of welfare or government aid. Since 1996, when the last major welfare legislation was established, only immigrants who have green cards, or legal permanent residents, were permitted to ask for assistance.
The Trump administration had offered a proposal to update current rules so that the government would have the powers to block immigrants who apply for green cards on the assumption that they may rely on federal aid and would be a "public charge" to the government. That application is now being reviewed and expected to be undone by the White House.
ThoughThough over on Capitol Hill, Grothman wants lawmakers to take it a step further and block all noncitizens from receiving so much as a penny from any federal programs.
“We can only take so many immigrants. Were swearing in another 700,000, a little under that, per year,” remarked Grothman. “You should go back home and prepare yourself and put yourself in a position in which you can get a job. But, if you can't get a job, then they can take care of you and whichever country you came from.”
Alex Nowrasteh, director of immigration studies for the libertarian Cato Institute, backed the bill in 2018 and supports it again this time around on the assumption that all non-citizens “should not have access to welfare."
“The public charge rule was a poorly conceived way to reduce non-citizen access to welfare, left a lot up to the arbitrary whims of bureaucrats, and ultimately would be used to keep productive immigrants out rather than reduce the burden of welfare,” Nowrasteh announced in an email. "Grothman’s bill, on the other hand, attacks the root problem.”
Enduring laws do not enable immigrants to visit the United States on any variety of visas to apply for welfare through the cash aid program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or Supplemental Security Income for disabled people. For different programs, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Children’s Health Insurance Program, recipients generally have to be green card possessors.
The 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., among them people shielded from deportation by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and the Temporary Protected Status program, are ineligible for all four programs. International students and agricultural workers, among plenty of others in the U.S. on a temporary legal basis, are likewise ineligible. That further means anyone who avoids getting caught while sneaking over the border or someone who overstays a visa cannot apply for these programs.